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Articles by Douglas Ankney

Acquitted Conduct Sentencing

How Judges Enhance Sentences by Supplanting ‘Not Guilty’ Verdicts with Private Findings that Defendants ‘Probably Committed’ Acquitted Offenses

by Douglas Ankney

Gregory Bell was indicted on 13 charges. He exercised his right to a jury trial. The jury acquitted Bell of 10 charges and convicted him of just three distribution ...

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals: Defendant Satisfied Requirements of Confession and Avoidance, ‘Unintentional Self-Defense’ Jury Instruction Allowed Against Charge of Intentional Offense

by Douglas Ankney

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (“TCCA”) held that Marvin Rodriguez satisfied the requirements of confession and avoidance. The TCCA also instructed that Martinez v. State, 775 S.W.2d 645 (Tex. Crim. App. 1989), remains good law.

Rodriguez was charged with murder for shooting and killing Richard ...

Michigan Supreme Court Announces 2011 SORA May Not Be Retroactively Applied to Registrants Whose Offenses Predated Its Enactment Because Doing So Violates Prohibition on Ex Post Facto Laws

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Michigan held that application of the state’s Sex Offenders Registration Act, MCL 28.271 et seq. (“SORA”), as amended by 2011 PA 17 and 18 (the “2011 SORA”), violates the constitutional prohibition against ex post facto laws when applied to registrants whose criminal acts ...

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals: Although Subsequent Indictment Recites Same Language as Original Indictment, SOL Isn’t Tolled Where Subsequent Indictment Fails to Charge Same Conduct, Act, or Transaction

by Douglas Ankney

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (“TCCA”) held that, although a subsequent indictment recited the same statutory language as the original indictment, the statute of limitations (“SOL”) was not tolled because the subsequent indictment failed to charge the same conduct, act, or transaction, as required by Hernandez ...

Idaho Supreme Court Rejects ‘Instinctive Entry Rule’ as Not Implicating Fourth Amendment Where Drug-Sniffing Dog Breaches Interior of Vehicle During Exterior Search and Suppresses Evidence

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Idaho rejected the “instinctive entry rule” as an exception to the warrant requirement where a drug-sniffing dog breached the interior of a vehicle and the law enforcement officer did not otherwise have probable cause for the search, and thus, the Court reversed the ...

SCOTUS Announces Pursuit of a Misdemeanant Does Not Categorically Constitute an Exigent Circumstance Authorizing a Warrantless Home Entry

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of the United States (“SCOTUS”) held that there is no categorical rule allowing a warrantless entry into a home when police are pursuing a misdemeanant.

Arthur Lange drove past a California highway patrol officer with music blaring through open windows while repeatedly honking his ...

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Announces New Framework for Enforcing Right to Effective Counsel in Post-Conviction Relief Act Proceeding

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania announced a new framework for enforcing the right to effective counsel in a 42 Pa.C.S. §§ 9541-9546, Post-Conviction Relief Act (“PCRA”), proceeding.

Aaron Bradley was convicted by jury of multiple felonies, including first degree murder, in connection with the shooting death of ...

Connecticut Supreme Court Overrules Aquino, Holding Appeal Not Moot Where Defendant Deported During Pendency but Unclear Whether Appealed Conviction Sole Basis for Deportation

Holds Model Jury Instruction 2.6-14 Failed to Correctly Inform Jury on Investigative Inadequacy

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Connecticut held that Model Jury Instruction 2.6-14 failed to correctly inform the jury of Wagner Gomes’ right to “rely upon relevant deficiencies or lapses in the police investigation to raise ...

Nevada Supreme Court: Prisoner’s Claim He Is Now Actually Innocent of Death Penalty Sufficient to Overcome Proce-dural Bars to Habeas Relief

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Nevada held that Samuel Howard’s claim that he is now actually innocent of the death penalty was sufficient to overcome procedural bars to habeas relief.

In 1983, Howard was convicted of robbery and murder with the use of a deadly weapon. The jury ...

Tenth Circuit, Joining Sister Circuits, Announces ‘Personal-Use’ Drug Quantity Doesn’t Constitute ‘Relevant Conduct’ Under Guidelines § 1B1.3(a) and Sets Forth Framework for Burden of Proof Analysis

by Douglas Ankney 

In a case of first impression, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit adopted the burden-shifting framework of United States v. Asch, 207 F.3d 1238 (10th Cir. 2000), in announcing that (1) personal-use drug quantity doesn’t constitute “relevant conduct” under Guidelines § 1B1.3(a) for ...



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