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Articles by David Reutter

California Federal Court Rejects Plea Agreement’s Waiver of Compassionate Release Provision

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California rejected the plea agreement that required the defendant to waive his right to seek compassionate relief unless he exhausted all administrative rights of appeal for the Bureau of Prisons’ (“BOP”) failure to bring such a motion ...

Florida Supreme Court Abandons Circumstantial Evidence Review Standard

by David M. Reutter

In affirming the conviction and death sentence of Sean Alonzo Bush, the Supreme Court of Florida announced it is abandoning the different standard for reviewing wholly circumstantial evidence cases.

Bush was convicted of the brutal attack on his estranged wife Nicole Bush. The couple was separated ...

Iowa Supreme Court Vacates Guilty Plea for Lack of Evidence and Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

The Supreme Court of Iowa ruled there was no factual basis to support a defendant’s guilty plea to possessing a tool with the intent to use in the unlawful removal of a theft detection device. The Court further ruled that defense counsel was ineffective for allowing ...

First Circuit: Home Search Affidavit Failed to Establish Nexus of Crime and Evidence

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed the suppression of evidence seized from a suspected drug dealer’s home as fruit of the poisonous tree.

Jamal Roman was alleged in a search warrant application submitted by DEA Special Agent Scott Smith to be “a known ...

Former Florida Deputy Jailed for Fabricating Drug Evidence

During his tenure as a deputy from May 2017 to January 2018, Steven O’Leary made ...

Hawaii Lawmakers Propose Transparency from Prosecutors

Prosecutors are the “most powerful actors in the criminal justice system” proclaims Hawaii House Bill 2749. That bill would follow the lead of Florida, Colorado, and Arizona in increasing transparency into court proceedings.

A Texas A&M Law Review article highlighted the need to increase transparency in ...

Ninth Circuit: Federal Sentencing Court Must Hear Defendant Before Determining If Acceptance of Responsibility Reduction Applies

by David Reutter

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that a “sentencing court erred by concluding that it could not first hear from the defendant before determining whether a reduction for acceptance of responsibility was warranted under the Sentencing Guidelines.” The Court concluded the misapprehension of ...

Massachusetts Supreme Court Suppresses Evidence Obtained After Miranda Warnings Translated into Spanish Deemed Incapable of Conveying Meaningful Advice

by David Reutter

The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts affirmed the suppression of custodial statements where the translation of Miranda warnings into Spanish was inadequate to apprise the defendant of his rights. The Court also reversed the denial of the suppression of evidence taken from the defendant’s cellphone because the ...

Tennessee Supreme Court Abandons Doctrine of Abatement Ab Initio

by David Reutter

The Tennessee Supreme Court held “the doctrine of abatement ab initio must be abandoned because it is obsolete, its continued application would do more harm than good, and it is inconsistent with the current public policy of this State.”

Before the court was an appeal brought by ...

Michigan Supreme Court: Reaching Out Door of Home to Retrieve ID Inadequate to Surrender Fourth Amendment Rights

by David Reutter

The Supreme Court of Michigan held that a defendant did not expose herself to public arrest when she reached out of her doorway to retrieve her identification from a police officer — and there could be no “hot pursuit” when she pulled her arm back into the ...



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