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Articles by Douglas Ankney

Law Enforcement and Mad Men

by Douglas Ankney

About two decades ago, the TV network AMC had a hit show entitled Mad Men. Starring Jon Hamm and others, it portrayed the foibles of the financially elite but morally bankrupt men and women in the business of writing ad copy. Hence, the title “Mad ...

California Court of Appeal Affirms Grant of Suppression Motion Where Officer’s Pat Search of Defendant Based on High Crime Area, Baggy Clothes, Criminal Record, and Suspect in Separate Case

by Douglas Ankney

The Court of Appeal of California, First Appellate District, affirmed the Solano County Superior Court’s order granting Juan Pantoja’s motion to suppress evidence because Vacaville Police Officer Chris Hill did not have articulable facts to support a reasonable suspicion to pat search Pantoja. The Court also affirmed ...

Ohio Supreme Court: Defendant Has Reasonable and Legitimate Basis to Withdraw Guilty Plea Before Sentencing When He Discovers Evidence That Would Have Affected Decision

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Ohio held that Terry Barnes Sr. had a reasonable and legitimate basis to withdraw his guilty plea before sentencing when he discovered evidence that had been withheld from him by his attorney and that evidence would have negated his decision to plead guilty ...

Seventh Circuit: Defendant Entitled to Present Entrapment Defense Where ‘Some Evidence’ Exists of Government Inducement and Lack of Predisposition to Commit Crime

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that Robert Shawn Anderson was entitled to present his entrapment defense to the jury because there was some evidence that the Government induced him to commit the crime and some evidence that he lacked any predisposition to ...

Sixth Circuit Announces Nonretroactive Change in Sentencing Law Is Not an ‘Extraordinary and Compelling Reason’ Warranting a Sentence Reduction under Compassionate Release Statute

by Douglas Ankney

A divided en banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in a 9 to 7 split, held that a nonretroactive change in sentencing law is not an “extraordinary and compelling reason” warranting a sentence reduction under the compassionate-release statute, 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1).

In 2015, ...

Was the DNA at the Crime Scene Left by the Perpetrator – or by a Pet?

by Douglas Ankney

Collaborating with the Victoria Police Forensic Services Department, forensic science researcher and Ph.D. candidate Heidi Monkman, along with Dr. Mariya Goray – both from the College of Science and Engineering at Flinders – collected human DNA from 20 pet cats from multiple households. A whopping 80% of ...

California Court of Appeal: At Felony-Murder Resentencing Hearing, Court May Not Deny Relief Based on Findings That Are Inconsistent With Previous Acquittal

by Douglas Ankney

The Court of Appeal of California, First Appellate District, held that “a trial court cannot deny relief in a § 1170.95 proceeding based on findings that are inconsistent with a previous acquittal when no evidence other than that introduced at trial is presented.”

In 2004, a jury ...

Fifth Circuit: ‘Nonsubstantial Overcrowding’ of Vehicle Used in Transporting Illegal Aliens Insufficient for Imposition of Sentencing Enhancement Under Guidelines § 2L1.1(b)(6)

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that nine people in a vehicle with a rated capacity for seven people is insufficient for imposition of sentencing enhancement under U.S. Sentencing Guideline (“Guidelines”) § 2 L1.1(b)(6).

Felipe Castelo-Palma was pulled over by a Presidio ...

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court: Ineffective Assistance of Counsel Where Trial Counsel Believed, Erroneously, He Had Ethical Duty to Tell Prosecution Location of Key Incriminating Evidence Not in Counsel’s Possession

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts held that an actual conflict of interest existed that rendered counsel’s representation constitutionally ineffective where defense counsel erroneously believed he had an ethical duty to disclose to the prosecution the location of key incriminating evidence. Defendant Will Tate’s consent to the ...

Ninth Circuit Suppresses Evidence as Fruit of the Poisonous Tree Where Officer Lacked Probable Cause to Arrest Man Who Displayed Handgun in Open Carry State

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington’s order granting a motion to suppress all evidence because the arresting officer lacked probable cause to arrest a possibly mentally ill Washington man who had displayed a ...



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