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Articles by David Reutter

Sixth Circuit Grants Habeas Relief for Defendant Shackled During Murder Trial Without On-the-Record Justification

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit granted conditional habeas corpus relief to a Michigan prisoner who alleged that the use of shackles upon him during trial was unconstitutional and prejudiced his guilt determination. The majority of the Court’s opinion focused on the proper ...

Michigan Supreme Court Announces Court Must Inform Defendant of Consecutive Sentencing Authority When Accepting Plea

In a case of first impression, the Supreme Court of Michigan held “that MCR 6.302(B)(2) requires the trial court, in cases where such advice is relevant, to advise a defendant of its discretionary consecutive-sentencing authority and possible consequences of that authority for defendant’s sentence.”

The Court’s ...

South Carolina Supreme Court: State Cannot Appeal Guilty Plea

The Supreme Court of South Carolina dismissed the State’s appeal of a guilty plea and affirmed denial of motions to reconsider the sentence for recusal of the trial court.

The Court’s order came in an appeal the State brought in the prosecution of Rick Quinn, Jr. ...

Using Location Surveillance to Fight COVID-19 May Chill Free Speech and Association

As governments act to contain COVID-19, tracing persons who have come in contact with infected persons is at the forefront of the move to contain the disease’s spread. Tracing people via location surveillance may prove to be an effective tool, but at what cost?

The Electronic ...

Fourth Circuit: Standalone Rehaif Error Requires Automatic Vacatur of Guilty Plea

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that the district court’s failure to give a defendant notice that he belonged to a class of persons prohibited from possessing a firearm during his plea colloquy constitutes a structural error that requires his guilty plea ...

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 ...

 

 

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