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Articles by Douglas Ankney

Third Circuit Announces Mere Physical Proximity of Guns and Drugs Insufficient for Automatic Application of U.S.S.G. § 2K2.1(b)(6)(B) Enhancement Under Commentary Note 14(B), Creates Rebuttable Presumption

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that mere physical proximity of guns and drugs to each other is insufficient for automatic application of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines (“U.S.S.G.”) § 2 K2.1(b)(6)(B) enhancement under the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s Commentary Note 14(B) for a drug-trafficking ...

Second Circuit Declares Police Firearms Examiners Subject to Brady, Examiner Who Failed to Disclose Exculpatory Ballistics Report Not Entitled to Qualified Immunity

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the decision of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut that held police forensic firearms examiner James Stephenson was not entitled to qualified immunity in a suit alleging he withheld exculpatory ballistics reports in violation ...

Ninth Circuit: California Law Prohibiting Recovery of Loss of Life Damages Inconsistent With § 1983

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California that Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 377.34’s prohibition on recovery of loss of life damages is inconsistent with 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and thus ...

Ninth Circuit: Washington’s Sentencing Guidelines, Not Statutory Maximum, Set Upper Limit for Sentence When Determining Grade of Violation of Supervised Release Under U.S. Sentencing Guidelines

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the state of Washington’s mandatory sentencing guidelines set the upper limit for possible punishment for a state crime that U.S. district courts must abide by when determining the grade of violation of supervised release under the ...

Nevada Supreme Court Reverses Denial of Motion to Withdraw Guilty Plea Because Defendant Had Strong Argument for Speedy Trial Violation and Colorable Claim of IAC

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Nevada reversed the district court’s denial of Kevin Sunseri’s motion to withdraw his guilty plea because he had a strong argument of a speedy trial violation and a colorable claim of ineffective assistance of counsel (“IAC”).

In December 2015, Sunseri robbed a man ...

Hawai’i Supreme Court: Prosecutor’s Cumulative Misconduct Deprived Defendant of a Fair Trial, Vacates Denial of Motion for New Trial

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Hawai’i vacated the judgment of the Intermediate Court of Appeals (“ICA”) that held a prosecutor’s cumulative misconduct was harmless.

Matthew K. Williams was convicted of sexually assaulting T.Y., a minor. At trial, the prosecutor introduced to the jury incriminating statements allegedly made by ...

Veterans Restorative Justice Act Offers More Than Alternatives to Jail in Minnesota

by Douglas Ankney

On August 10, 2021, a crowd of veterans’ organizations, prosecutors, defense attorneys, lawmakers, and other interested parties gathered outside the Minnesota State Capitol to watch Governor Tim Walz symbolically sign into law a measure he had approved weeks earlier in a private setting—the Veterans Restorative Justice Act ...

Colorado Supreme Court: Warrantless Pole Camera Surveilling and Recording of Curtilage for Over Three Months Constitutes an Illegal Search

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Colorado affirmed a decision of the Court of Appeals (“COA”), holding that a warrantless surveillance and recording of a home’s curtilage and private, fenced-in yard via a pole camera for over three months was an illegal search.

A confidential informant told police that ...

Minnesota Supreme Court Announces Two-Year Time Limit of § 590.01, subd. 4(c) Runs From Date of Court Decision

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Minnesota announced that the two-year time limit set forth in Minn. Stat. § 590.01, subd. 4(c) to file a timely postconviction petition under the retroactive new interpretation of law exception in Minn. Stat. § 591.01, subd. 4(b)(3) runs from the date the U.S. ...

First Circuit: Defendant Entitled to Withdraw Plea Where Government Withdrew From Plea Agreement Based on Defendant’s Breach

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held that the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire erred by refusing to allow Louis Gardner to withdraw his guilty plea after allowing the Government to withdraw from the plea agreement due to a breach ...



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