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Articles by Douglas Ankney

Michigan Supreme Court: Defendant’s Statements Involuntary and Inadmissible

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Michigan held that Joshua Lamar-James Stewart’s age and his health, along with the timing of the police interrogation and the officers’ tactics that included promises of leniency, racial slurs, a combative tone, and misrepresentation of the evidence against Stewart rendered his statements involuntary ...

Tales From the ‘Tails’ of Bloodstains

by Douglas Ankney

Protrusions that deviate from the boundaries of otherwise elliptical bloodstains—known as “tails”—may provide additional relevant crime-scene evidence, according to James Bird, scientist and co-author of a study appearing in the journal Physics of Fluids.

A group of scientists from Boston University and University of Utah demonstrated that ...

Missouri Supreme Court Orders Dismissal of Pending Charges Where Trial Court Failed to Bring Prisoner to Trial Within 180-Day Limitations Period Provided for in ‘Interstate Agreement on Detainers’

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Missouri made permanent its grant of a temporary writ of prohibition and ordered dismissal of the charges pending against Steven Wishom after the Jefferson Circuit Court failed to bring Wishom to trial on those charges within the 180-day limitations period of the Interstate ...

Third Circuit: Defense Counsel Ineffective Under Strickland Where Counsel Sat Silent After Judge Threatened to Charge Witness With Perjury Unless Testimony Changed

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that Ronald Rogers was denied effective assistance of counsel when his attorney sat silent after the trial judge admonished a prosecution witness that if he did not change his testimony to implicate Rogers, then the witness would ...

Ninth Circuit Announces District Courts Must Either Orally Pronounce All Discretionary ‘Standard’ Conditions of Supervised Release in the Presence of Defendant or Provide Conditions in Writing Prior to Sentencing

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, sitting en banc, held that U.S. District Courts must either orally pronounce all discretionary conditions of supervised release, including those referred to as “standard” in U.S. Sentencing Guidelines (“U.S.S.G.”) § 5D1.3(c), in the presence of the defendant at sentencing ...

New Mexico Supreme Court Announces Marquez’s Holding That ‘Crime of Shooting at or From Motor Vehicle Cannot Be Predicate Felony Supporting Charge of Felony Murder’ Is New Substantive Rule and Applies Retroactively

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of New Mexico held that the holding of State v. Marquez, 376 P.3d 815 (N.M. 2016), wherein the Court ruled that “the crime of shooting at or from a motor vehicle may not serve as the predicate felony in support of a felony murder ...

Evidence Shows When Researchers Work Alongside Cops in the Field, De-escalation Training Is Implemented and Effective

by Douglas Ankney

Traditionally, police officers are taught to take control of a volatile encounter, ensuring the safety of all officers present by approaching an unstable situation with weapons drawn. The underlying message is: “Make sure that you and your partner go home safe tonight.”

De-escalation training, by contrast, teaches ...

Data Mining: Law Enforcement Pays Cash for Your Private Data and Saves on the Hassle of Complying With the Fourth Amendment

by Douglas Ankney

According to an investigation by The Wall Street Journal, a company known as Near Intelligence purchases individuals’ private data from brokers who usually sell the data to advertisers, but Near Intelligence sells the data to government contractors who then pass the data along to federal military and ...

Steady Improvement in Techniques for the Analysis of Degraded DNA

by Douglas Ankney

DNA, while remarkably resilient, may be degraded by exposure to ultraviolet radiation, extreme temperatures, humidity, and microbial activity. These exposures may result in “single-strand and double-strand breaks, depurination, deamination, and crosslinks.” Consequently, the DNA “becomes fragmented, diminishing its suitability for traditional forensic analysis methods that rely on ...

Study Finds Public Defenders’ Heavy Workloads Prevent Effective Representation, Amendments to 50-Year-Old Guidelines Recommended

by Douglas Ankney

The National Public Defense Workload Study (“Study”) examined the guidelines created by the National Advisory Committee in 1973 (“NAC Standards”) that determine the recommended number of cases annually that a public defender should handle. The Study was conducted by a team of attorneys and researchers from the ...



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