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Articles by Douglas Ankney

California Supreme Court: Positioning Computer Monitor to Obstruct Defendant’s View of Complaining Witness Violates Confrontation Clause

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of California ruled that repositioning a computer monitor so that it blocked the defendant’s view of the witness testifying against him violated the Confrontation Clause.

Jason Arron Arredondo was tried by a jury on several sexual offense charges against F.R., Ar.R, An.R, and M.C. ...

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court: Police Must Inform Arrested Driver That Passenger Can Assume Custody of Vehicle if Lawful and Practical as Alternative to Impoundment

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruled that, where officers are aware that a passenger could lawfully assume control of a vehicle, it is improper to impound the vehicle upon the arrest of the driver without first offering the option to the driver.

Two Boston police officers ...

California Court of Appeal: Hunch That Proves Correct Is Not Reasonable Suspicion for Traffic Stop

by Douglas Ankney

Division Two of the Fourth Appellate District for the California Court of Appeal ruled that an officer must have reasonable suspicion based on articulable facts to initiate a traffic stop, and a hunch, even when it proves correct, is insufficient.

After a jury convicted Blanca ...

Maryland Court of Appeals Announces, When Requested, Trial Courts Must Ask During Voir Dire Whether Jurors Will Follow Court’s Instructions on Presumption of Innocence, Burden of Proof, and Right Not to Testify

by Douglas Ankney

On January 24, 2020, the Court of Appeals of Maryland announced that henceforth trial courts, when requested, must ask potential jurors during voir dire if any of them are unwilling or unable to follow the court’s instructions on the presumption of innocence, the burden of proof, and ...

Louisiana Supreme Court: When an Identified Attorney Seeks to Assist a Person in Custody and Police Fail to Inform the Person, Inculpatory Statements Must Be Suppressed

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Louisiana reaffirmed that the law of Louisiana requires law enforcement to inform a person in custody whenever an identified attorney is seeking an opportunity to assist the person. If the police fail to inform the person in custody of the attorney, any ...

D.C. Circuit: 18 U.S.C. § 1114 Does Not Apply Overseas But § 924(c) Does

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held that 18 U.S.C. § 1114 does not apply to territories outside the United States. However, the Court ruled that 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) does apply extraterritorially in specific circumstances.

While in Mexico, Jose Emanuel Garcia Sota and ...

Third Circuit: Confrontation Clause Violated When Jury Is Told ‘Other Guy’ Referenced in Non-Testifying Codefendant’s Statement Is the Defendant

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that Arthur Johnson’s right to confront his accusers was violated when his non-testifying codefendant’s statement identifying “the other guy” as the shooter was read to the jury, and the jury was told that “the other guy” referenced ...

Georgia Supreme Court Overrules 50 Years of Jurisprudence and Announces Courts Are to Consider Cumulative Prejudice of Trial Court and Counsel Errors

by Douglas Ankney

On February 10, 2020, the Supreme Court of Georgia unanimously ruled that reviewing courts are to consider the cumulative effect of trial court and counsel errors, overturning 50 years of prior jurisprudence.

At Antiwan Lane’s murder trial, Kevin Stallworth testified that Lane hired him to kill Hector ...

Ninth Circuit Orders Habeas Relief After California Concedes Conviction Should Be Overturned Due to Defense Counsel’s ‘Virulent Racism’

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed the district court’s denial of Ezzard Charles Ellis’ petition for a writ of habeas corpus and remanded with instructions to issue a conditional writ after California conceded that Ellis’ conviction should be overturned due to his attorney’s ...

Kansas Supreme Court: State Failed to Prove Building Was a Dwelling

by Douglas Ankney

In a case of first impression for the Supreme Court of Kansas, the Court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals that had reversed the burglary conviction of Charity Downing because the State failed to prove the building allegedly burgled was a “dwelling” as defined by ...



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