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Articles by Douglas Ankney

Maine’s Law Enforcement Agencies, Like Those of Most States, Don’t Track Complaints Against Police Officers

by Douglas Ankney

The WMTW 8 Investigates Team partnered with the Maine Freedom of Information Coalition to review hundreds of documents and other data obtained from 135 Maine law enforcement agencies (“Agencies”). The Agencies were asked to provide the number of citizen complaints against officers and the details on any ...

Seventh Circuit: District Court’s Failure to Exercise Discretion After Erroneously Finding Defendant Ineligible for Relief Under First Step Act Was Abuse of Discretion

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled that the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois abused its discretion when it failed to exercise its discretion after erroneously determining Montrell McSwain was ineligible for relief under § 404(b) of the First Step ...

Seventh Circuit Vacates Sentence Where District Court’s Rationale for Defendant’s Offense Level Unclear

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit vacated Darrell Loving’s sentence because the reasons given by the U.S. District Court for the District of Indiana for arriving at an offense level of 24 were unclear.

Loving pleaded guilty to possessing cocaine and heroin with intent ...

Cops in Virginia Beach Used Fake DNA Reports During Interrogations

by Douglas Ankney

Apparently, cops in Virginia Beach are not troubled by a lack of DNA evidence when investigating crimes. Their remedy is to simply create fake certificates of analysis (“COA”) purported to be from the Virginia Department of Forensic Science (“DFS”). In an investigation begun by outgoing Democratic Attorney ...

Tenth Circuit Vacates Special Conditions of Supervised Release Where District Court Failed to Make Appropriate Findings and Provide Adequate Explanation

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit vacated the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming’s imposition of a “Sexual Materials Prohibition” and a “Mental Health Condition” upon Monty Englehart’s supervised release because the district court failed to make appropriate findings and provide adequate ...

Council of State Governments Initiates Efforts to Reduce Barriers to Employment for the Formerly Incarcerated

by Douglas Ankney

The Council of State Governments Justice Center (“CSGJC”) initiated efforts to reduce employment barriers for people with criminal histories. Recognizing that nearly 25% of all jobs in the U.S. require some type of government-issued license, 10 state legislatures adopted laws that expand licensing opportunities for people with ...

New York Court of Appeals: Frye Hearing Required to Determine Admissibility of DNA Evidence Generated by Proprietary Forensic Statistical Tool

by Douglas Ankney

The Court of Appeals of New York reversed an order of the Appellate Division that had affirmed a trial court’s order denying a hearing requested pursuant to Frye v. United States, 293 F. 1013 (D.C. Cir. 1923), and the Court remitted to the trial court to ...

California Court of Appeal: Trial Court Must Receive Parole Agency’s Written Report Before Ruling on Parole Revocation Petition for Lifetime Parolee Despite Remand to Prison Being Mandatory

by Douglas Ankney

The Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, held that Penal Code § 1203.2(b)(1) requires trial courts to receive a parole agency’s written report before ruling on a parole revocation petition and that there is no exception for a petition filed against a lifetime parolee.

Jerry Denton Williams, ...

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 ...

 

 

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