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Articles by Douglas Ankney

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 ...

California Court of Appeal Announces the People Are Not Entitled to Have Privately Retained Psychological Expert Testify at Trial of SVPA Petition

by Douglas Ankney

The Court of Appeal of California, Fourth Appellate District, held that the Sexually Violent Predator Act, Welf. & Inst. Code § 6600 et seq. (“SVPA”), does not authorize the People to retain a private expert witness to testify at trial in connection with an SVPA petition. (Note: ...

Connecticut Supreme Court Announces ‘John Doe’ Warrant Based on Suspect’s General Description and Partial DNA Profiles, Which May or May Not Include Suspect’s DNA, Fails to Satisfy ‘Particularity Requirement’ of Fourth Amendment

by Douglas Ankney

In an issue of first impression with potentially nationwide implications, the Supreme Court of Connecticut held that a “John Doe” warrant that was based on the general description of a suspect and on several mixed partial DNA profiles, which may or may not have included the suspect’s ...

Tenth Circuit: Prisoner Convicted of Covered Drug Offense but Sentenced to Mandatory Life Sentence Via Cross Reference for Murder Under Pre-Booker Guidelines Has Standing to Request First Step Act Sentence Reduction

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held that a prisoner convicted of a covered drug offense but who was sentenced to a mandatory life sentence via a cross reference for murder under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines (“Guidelines”) in effect before United States v. Booker ...

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Ends Practice of Juvenile Courts Granting Continuances for Sole Purpose of Extending Delinquent’s Period of Detention

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ended the practice of judges presiding over juvenile delinquency proceedings and granting continuances for the sole purpose of extending the delinquent’s period of incarceration.

A juvenile identified as “Noah N.” was 17-years-of-age when he allegedly punched and bit a family or ...

People Convicted of Sex Crimes Remain Incarcerated 25 Years After Completing Their Prison Sentences

by Douglas Ankney

With the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), news pundits and left-leaning politicians decry the “radical” justices on the U.S. Supreme Court as if the High Court’s utter disrespect for the freedom guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution is a recent development. Beginning ...



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