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Articles by Douglas Ankney

SCOTUS: § 2(a) of Fair Sentencing Act Modifies Statutory Penalties Only for Subparagraphs (A) and (B) of 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)— the Mandatory-Minimum Provisions

by Douglas Ankney 

A unanimous Supreme Court of the United States (“SCOTUS”) held that § 2(a) of the Fair Sentencing Act modified the statutory penalties for only subparagraphs (A) and (B) of 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1), i.e., the mandatory-minimum provisions, not for subparagraph (C).

Tarahrick Terry pleaded guilty in 2008 ...

SCOTUS: ‘Exceeds Authorized Access’ Under the CFAA Means Accessing Areas of Computer That Are Off-Limits on Computer Otherwise Authorized to Access

by Doug Ankney

The Supreme Court of the United States (“SCOTUS”) held that for purposes of 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(2), the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 (“CFAA”), an individual “exceeds authorized access” when he accesses a computer with authorization but then obtains information located in particular areas of ...

Virginia Supreme Court Reverses Concealed Weapon Offense Because Statutory Exception Applied

The Supreme Court of Virginia reversed the judgment of the Court of Appeals (“COA”) that had affirmed Dorain Jerod Myers’ conviction for carrying a concealed weapon, second offense, in violation of Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-308(A), which makes it illegal for anyone to carry “about his person” ...

Montana Supreme Court: Court Reporter’s Medical Emergency and Judge’s Distress Don’t Constitute Manifest Necessity for Declaring Mistrial, Retrial Violates Double Jeopardy

The Supreme Court of Montana dismissed with prejudice charges of sexual intercourse without consent and bail jumping, ruling the defendant’s second trial following a mistrial that was declared without a showing of manifest necessity was barred by the Double Jeopardy Clauses of the U.S. and Montana Constitutions. ...

Arizona Supreme Court: Trial Court’s Failure to Protect Defendant’s Right to Conflict-Free Counsel May Be Raised on Direct Appeal 16 Massachusetts Supreme Court: Error to Exclude Expert Testimony on Significance of Tattoo to Support Claim of Self-Defense

The Supreme Court of Arizona affirmed a decision of the Court of Appeals (“COA”) holding that the issue of a trial court’s failure to adequately protect a defendant’s right to conflict-free counsel—as opposed to issues broadly raised as ineffective assistance of counsel—may be raised on direct appeal. ...

Fourth Circuit Reverses ‘Abusive Language’ Conviction Where Government Failed to Offer Evidence That Racial Slur Tended to Cause Immediate Acts of Violence

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reversed retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jules A. Bartow’s conviction for using “abusive language” after determining the Government failed to prove his racial slur tended to cause immediate acts of violence.

Bartow, who is white, was inside the ...

California Court of Appeal: When Federal Court Finds Petitioner Satisfies Schlup Standard, Victim Compensation Board Must Recommend Payment of Claim Without Hearing

The Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Five, held that when a federal district court finds that a habeas petitioner has satisfied the standard enunciated in Schlup v. Delo, 513 U.S. 298 (1995), and the petitioner is permanently released from custody, the California Victim Compensation ...

Atavistic South Carolinians Offer Option of Firing Squad to Condemned Prisoners

Brad Sigmon, 63, was scheduled to be killed on June 18, 2021, at the hands of the people of South Carolina in their perverse and bizarre notion of justice. But on June 16, 2021, the South Carolina Supreme Court stayed his killing. The Court announced it would ...

Sixth Circuit: District Court May Consider Disparity of Defendant’s Actual Sentence Compared With Sentence Under First Step Act When Additional Factors Present

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that, in making an individualized determination about whether extraordinary and compelling reasons merit compassionate release, a district court may include, along with other factors, the disparity between a defendant’s actual sentence and the sentence he would have ...

Tenth Circuit Reverses Denial of Suppression Motion Because Rationale for Community-Caretaker Exception Unreasonable

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit reversed the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado’s denial of Hunter Trey Venezia’s motion to suppress because the Government’s reliance upon the community-caretaking exception to the warrant requirement was based upon an unreasonable community-caretaking rationale.

Officers ...

 

 

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