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Articles by Douglas Ankney

Maine Now Requires Criminal Conviction Before Property May Be Forfeited

by Douglas Ankney

Maine passed LD 1521 without the governor’s signature to become the fourth state in the nation to abolish civil asset forfeiture, requiring instead a criminal conviction before property may be forfeited. The law took effect July 13, 2021. “It’s a very simple concept; you don’t lose your ...

West Virginia Supreme Court: Defendant Who Provided False Information to Detective Who Failed to Identify Himself as Police Officer Has No Duty to Cure False Statement Upon Learning Detective Is a Police Officer

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia ruled that a person who provided false information to a detective who failed to identify himself as a police officer had no duty under City of Martinsburg Municipal Code § 509.05 (“§ 509.05”) to cure the prior false statement ...

Tenth Circuit: Judgment of Conviction Becomes Final for § 2255 SOL Purposes Upon Conclusion of Direct Review of Deferred Restitution

Answering an open question, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held that a judgment becomes final for purposes of 28 U.S.C. § 2255’s statute of limitations upon conclusion of direct review of the deferred restitution judgment.

On October 26, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Western ...

Minnesota Supreme Court: Depraved-Mind Murder Requires Mental State of Generalized Indifference to Human Life, Which Cannot Exist Where Defendant Kills With Particularity

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Minnesota held that the mental state necessary for a depraved-minded murder, Minn.Stat. 609.195(a) (2020), is a generalized indifference to human life, which cannot exist when the defendant’s conduct is directed with particularity at the person killed. To the extent that State v. Mytych ...

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Announces Smell of Marijuana Alone No Longer Establishes Probable Cause to Conduct Warrantless Vehicle Search

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania held that the smell of marijuana, by itself, no longer creates probable cause to justify a warrantless search of a vehicle during a traffic stop.

After observing a vehicle fail to come to a complete stop at a stop sign, Pennsylvania State ...

Idaho Supreme Court Announces Prospectively Testimony by Drug Recognition Expert Requires State to Comply With Expert Witness Disclosure Requirements of Rule 16(b)(7)

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Idaho announced, “that henceforth, testimony from drug recognition expert requires the state to comply with the expert witness disclosure requirements set forth in Idaho Criminal Rule 16(b)(7).”

Timothy Dacey was arrested on suspicion of Driving under the Influence (“DUI”), but a subsequent breath ...

California Court of Appeal: Trial Court’s Dismissal of Charge Based on Express Statement of ‘Insufficient Evidence’ Is Equivalent to Acquittal for § 1170.95 Resentencing

by Douglas Ankney

The Court of Appeal of California, Third Appellate District, affirmed the finding of a superior court in a § 1170.95 proceeding that the trial court’s dismissal of a charge for insufficient evidence under the facts of this case is the equivalent of an acquittal. (Note: All statutory ...

First Study of Police De-Escalation Training Shows Impressive Results

by Douglas Ankney

A first-of-its-kind study by the University of Cincinnati (“UC”) revealed that de-escalation training of police officers produces impressive results in making police encounters safer for the public. The study, appearing in Criminology & Public Policy (the flagship publication of the American Society of Criminology), was in collaboration ...

Maryland Court of Appeals Announces Accepting Empaneled Jury Doesn’t Waive Prior Objection to Trial Court’s Refusal to Propound a Voir Dire Question

by Douglas Ankney

The Court of Appeals of Maryland affirmed a decision of the Court of Special Appeals (“CSA”) that held a defendant’s acceptance of a jury as empaneled did not waive his earlier objection to a trial court’s denial of the defendant’s request to propound a proposed voir dire ...

Thanks to Homeowner’s Private Security Camera Catching Cops’ Blatant Misconduct, He’s a Free Man

by Douglas Ankney

Two police officers from Gowanda, New York—Sean Hotnich and Richard Cooper—claimed they got several “key details” wrong in their affidavit supporting a search warrant, as well as in their police report. For example, the police report states that once the two officers entered David Yezek’s kitchen, “patrol ...



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