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Articles by Douglas Ankney

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals: Trial Court Deprived Defendant of Opportunity to Present Complete Defense

by Douglas Ankney 

The Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas held that the trial court erred when it prohibited William Rogers from presenting evidence to support his claim of self-defense and also when it refused to instruct the jury on self-defense.

Rogers was tried by jury on charges of Burglary ...

California Court of Appeal Reiterates ‘Three Strikes’ Law Does Not Limit ‘Presentence’ Custody Credits, Defendant Entitled to Credits Calculated Under Penal Code § 4019

by Douglas Ankney

The Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District, ruled that assault with a firearm is not a violent felony for purposes of the state’s Three Strikes Law (Penal Code § 667); consequently, Rasheed Malcolm Jones was entitled to the amount of custody credits calculated under the ...

Ninth Circuit: Government’s Inflammatory Arguments in Sentencing Memorandum and at Sentencing Hearing Implicitly Breached Plea Agreement Promise Not to Recommend Sentence in Excess of Low-End Guidelines Range

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the Government’s inflammatory arguments in its sentencing memorandum and at the sentencing hearing implicitly breached the plea agreement because the sole effect of the arguments was to increase the defendant’s sentence beyond the low-end of the ...

Georgia Supreme Court Announces Overruling Longstanding Rule That Anything Filed by Defendant While Represented by Counsel Is Always a ‘Legal Nullity’

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Georgia unanimously held that courts maintain discretion to consider “hybrid motions,” i.e., motions filed pro se by defendants who are also represented by counsel, expressly overruling precedents that held to the contrary.

Garry Deyon Johnson was convicted of malice murder and robbery and ...

Fourth Circuit: Denial of Motion for Compassionate Release Abuse of Discretion Where District Court Failed to Properly Address Numerous Health Issues, Advanced Age, and Relevant § 3553(a) Factors

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that a District Court’s denial of a motion for compassionate release was an abuse of discretion where the District Court concluded that Lonnie Edward Malone’s numerous health conditions did not provide extraordinary and compelling reasons for release ...

Fourth Circuit Declines to Enforce Appeal Waiver and Procedural Default Excused by ‘Cause and Actual Prejudice,’ Reverses Denial of § 2255 Motion to Vacate § 924(c) Conviction Based on Hobbs Act Conspiracy

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit declined to enforce an appeal waiver where the defendant stood convicted and imprisoned for conduct that, due to developments in the law after he pleaded guilty, did not violate 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) and was not criminal, and ...

First Circuit: Plain Error Where District Court Based Upward Variant From Sentencing Guidelines Range on New Information Not Already in the Record at the Time of Sentencing

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit found plain error where the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico based an upward variance from the Guidelines range on new information not already in the record at the time of sentencing.

In 2011, Angel ...

Indiana Supreme Court: Petitioner Entitled to File Belated Appeal More Than 21 Years After Conviction, Holding He Acted ‘Promptly’

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Indiana held that Charlie D. Leshore, Jr., was entitled to file a belated appeal more than 21 years after his conviction because the trial court and Leshore’s attorneys failed to advise him of his right to appeal his sentence and because he promptly ...

Fourth Circuit Announces Rehaif Applies to All § 922(g) Firearms-Possession Offenses and Applies Retroactively to Initial § 2255 Motions

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that the holding of Rehaif v. United States, 139 S. Ct. 2191 (2019), applies retroactively to cases on collateral review and applies to convictions for being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of ...

Arkansas Supreme Court Reverses 11 Counts of Possession of Child Pornography Because CGI Images Do Not Depict Image of a Child

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Arkansas reversed the convictions against Jeremey Lewis on 11 counts of “distributing, possessing or viewing matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child” because the images were computer-generated imagery (“CGI”) and did not depict or incorporate the image of a child.

Lewis was ...



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