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Articles by Douglas Ankney

Don’t Allow Government to Abuse Emergency Powers After COVID-19 Threat Subsides

During this COVID-19 crisis, state and local authorities are ordering people to shelter in place, banning large gatherings, and closing businesses. These restrictions are implemented under traditional police powers that allow designated officials to take emergency actions to protect the public’s health, safety, and welfare during a ...

10th Circuit: Evidence Insufficient to Support Conviction for Attempting to Kill Witness

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit ruled that the evidence was insufficient to support John Terry Chatman, Jr.’s conviction of obstruction of justice by attempting to kill a witness.

Chatman was walking around the corner of the Trade Winds Hotel when two officers from ...

Delaware Supreme Court Clarifies Meaning of ‘Mixture’ as Used in State’s Controlled Substances Act

The Supreme Court of Delaware clarified the meaning of “mixture” as the term is used in Delaware’s Uniform Controlled Substances Act (“Act”).

Police recovered from the person of Darren Wiggins a vial containing an amber liquid and brown chunks. Wiggins was ultimately charged with several offenses, including ...

Colorado Supreme Court: Defendant Has No Duty to Bring Himself to Trial

The Supreme Court of Colorado ruled that Edward Kevin DeGreat had no duty to bring himself to trial and ordered his charges dismissed with prejudice for violation of his right to a speedy trial.

In October 2018, the Supreme Court of Colorado affirmed the court of appeals’ ...

Pennsylvania Supreme Court: Cronic’s Presumption of Prejudice Triggered by Counsel Failing to Secure Interpreter for First Day of Trial

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania ruled that the defendant was denied the effective assistance of counsel where a Spanish-language interpreter was not secured for the first day of trial and that counsel’s failure to do so triggered the application of the presumption of prejudice articulated by the ...

Ohio Supreme Court Announces New Standard for ‘Actual Racial Bias’ for Jurors and Holds Counsel Was Ineffective for Failing to Strike Racially Biased Juror

The Supreme Court of Ohio held that Glen E. Bates was deprived of his right to effective assistance of counsel when his attorney failed to inquire into a juror’s expressed racial bias or strike the juror.

Bates was convicted by a jury of aggravated murder and other ...

Utah Supreme Court: Dismissal of Second Post-Conviction Petition Improper Where First Petition Voluntarily Withdrawn

The Supreme Court of Utah held that there was no previous request for post-conviction relief to support dismissal of a second petition under Utah Code § 78B-9-106(1)(d) of the Post-Conviction Remedies Act (“PCRA”) where the first petition was voluntarily dismissed under Utah Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule ...

Nevada Supreme Court Rules Bail Determination Requires Due Process and Severs Unconstitutional Language from Bail Statute

In a case of first impression, the Supreme Court of Nevada ruled that bail determinations for pretrial detainees requires due process, announced the procedures to be followed, and severed unconstitutional language from NRS 178.4851(1).

The State obtained felony indictments against Aaron Frye and Jose Valdez-Jimenez, and the ...

California Court of Appeal: Unoccupied Running Vehicle Doesn’t Justify Warrantless Search of Residence

Division One of the Fourth Appellate District of the California Court of Appeal ruled that an unoccupied vehicle left running in a driveway satisfied neither the “emergency aid exception” nor the “exigent circumstances exception” to justify the warrantless search of a residence. The Court further ruled that ...

LAPD Officers Accused of Entering Names of Innocent People Into Gang Database

Officers from an elite division within the Los Angeles Police Department (“LAPD”) are under investigation regarding allegations that they falsified reports and listed some innocent people as gang members.

LAPD Police Chief Michel Moore announced in January that he was seeking to fire one officer for his ...

 

 

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