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Articles by Douglas Ankney

If You’re Unlucky or Black, Your Prison Sentence Could Be 63 Percent Longer

by Douglas Ankney

A new report from the U.S. Sentencing Commission reveals that the length of a defendant’s prison sentence increasingly depends on the whims of the judge. For example, in Philadelphia, some of the judges ordered sentences 63 percent longer than their colleagues for identical crimes. Doug Berman, ...

Eighth Circuit: Misprision of Felony Conviction of Participant in Underlying Felony Violates Fifth Amendment

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled that a defendant’s misprision of felony conviction for failing to report a felony in which the defendant was herself involved violates the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.

Elsa Solis was convicted of conspiring to possess with intent ...

NJ Supreme Court: Failure to Advise Suspect of Pending Charges Before Waiver of Right Against Self-Incrimination Requires Suppression of Statements

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of New Jersey ruled that when police obtain a suspect’s waiver of his right not to incriminate himself before informing the suspect of “the essence of the charges filed against him,” the State cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the suspect knowingly and ...

Second Circuit Rules 68-Month Delay Violates Speedy Trial Clause

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that a delay of 68 months between arrest and trial violates the right to a speedy trial enshrined in the Sixth Amendment when most of the delay is attributable to the Government.

On March 6, 2012, Rodshaun ...

Unreasonable Delay in Obtaining Search Warrant after Lawful Seizure Requires Suppression of Evidence, Announces Georgia Supreme Court

by Douglas Ankney

In a case of first impression for the Supreme Court of Georgia, it held that an unreasonable delay in obtaining a search warrant after items were lawfully seized requires suppression of the evidence.

In December 2015, police seized from Jennifer and Joseph Rosenbaum their iPhones, iPad, and ...

Georgia Supreme Court Says Visually Impaired Defendant Entitled to Appointment of a Reader

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Georgia held that due process requires the appointment of a person to read questions submitted by a visually impaired defendant.

Richard Bishop was 76 years old when he shot and killed his girlfriend and injured her other boyfriend in August 2009. Just ...

Portion of Illinois Sex Offender Law is Unconstitutional

by Douglas Ankney

U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall of Chicago ruled that it is unconstitutional for Illinois to hold sex offenders in prison after their release date when they are so poor they cannot find a home placement that complies with state requirements. 

Many sex offenders in Illinois ...

Third Circuit: Reason for Continuance Must be Given to Exclude Delay from 70-Day Limit of Speedy Trial Act or Dismissal of Indictment

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that a district court must state the factual basis for a continuance or use language that invokes a particular provision of the Speedy Trial Act (“Act”) in order to exclude the delay from the 70-day time limit ...

First Circuit: FBI’s Ruse Claiming National Emergency to Obtain Consent to Search Held Unlawful

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held that a search wherein FBI agents lied about an emergency in order to gain consent to search a suspect’s computers violates the Fourth Amendment.

On October 23, 2013, ten FBI agents arrived at the home shared by ...

Fourth Circuit Rules District Court Must Provide Individualized Rationale When Denying Motion for Sentence Reduction

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that a district court must provide its rationale when denying a motion seeking a sentence reduction pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2).

In this case, the Court consolidated the appeals of Paulette Martin and Luis Felipe Mangual, ...

 

 

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