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Articles by Douglas Ankney

Fourth Circuit Reverses § 924(c) Conviction Because Kidnapping No Longer Qualifies as Predicate Offense and ‘Critical Record Documents’ Do Not Show Firearm Charge Was ‘Expressly Predicated Upon’ Any Other Offense

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reversed Elliott B. Graham’s 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) conviction for “using a firearm during a crime of violence” because (1) the conviction was predicated upon a kidnapping conviction, (2) kidnapping is no longer considered a qualifying predicate crime of ...

Fifth Circuit: Fourth Amendment Seizure Occurred When Officer Pulled Behind Parked Vehicle, Activated Emergency Lights, and Simultaneously Ordered Suspect to Remain in Vehicle

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that a Fourth Amendment seizure occurred when an officer, with emergency lights activated, pulled in behind Jacob Boone Wright’s vehicle and almost simultaneously ordered him to remain in his car to which Wright sufficiently complied.

Officer Jakobsohn ...

Sixth Circuit: Because Ohio’s Aggravated Robbery Statute Does Not Contain Mens Rea Requirement, Conviction Is Violent Felony Under ACCA Only if Underlying Theft in Robbery Contains Required Mens Rea

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that because Ohio’s aggravated robbery statute, Ohio Revised Code § 2911.01(A), does not contain a mens rea requirement of knowing and purposeful use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force, a conviction under that statute can be ...

People of Maine at Forefront of Battle to Keep Government Security Apparatus in Check

by Douglas Ankney

The people of Maine have made a bold step in corralling the “unaccountable power of fusion centers” with the passage of HP 947, An Act to Increase the Transparency and Accountability of the Main Information and Analysis Center. The Main Information and Analysis Center (“MIAC”) is ...

Montana Supreme Court: Retroactive Application of Montana’s Sex Offender Registration Law, as Amended Since 2007, Violates Ex Post Facto Clause of State Constitution

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Montana held that retroactive application of Montana’s Sexual or Violent Offender Registration Act (“SVORA”), as amended beginning in 2007, violates the ex post facto clause in Article II, Section 31, of the Montana Constitution.

Richard D. Hinman was convicted in 1994 of ...

Ninth Circuit: Younger Abstention Doctrine Inapplicable Where Habeas Petitioner Seeks Stay While § 1172.6 Petition in State Court Being Litigated and Petitioner Entitled to Stay of Habeas Proceedings While State Petition Pending

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the abstention doctrine of Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971), is inapplicable where a petitioner moved for a stay of his 28 U.S.C. § 2254 petition for writ of habeas corpus and that the petitioner ...

California Supreme Court Clarifies Harmless-Error Analysis of Alternative-Theory Error, Reverses and Remands Where Court of Appeal Applied Incorrect Standard

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of California reversed a judgment of the Court of Appeal (“COA”) and remanded because the COA incorrectly applied the harmless-error analysis of People v. Aledamat, 447 P.3d 277 (Cal. 2019), where the jury was instructed with both a legally valid theory and a ...

Ninth Circuit Explains Martinez ‘Cause’ and ‘Prejudice’ to Excuse Procedural Default in Federal Habeas Proceeding Where Claim of IAC in State Proceedings Was Procedurally Defaulted Due to Postconviction Counsel’s Failure to Timely Raise Claim

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit explained the “cause and prejudice” framework of Martinez v. Ryan, 566 U.S. 1 (2012), in the context of a federal habeas proceeding where a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel at trial (“Trial IAC”) in a state ...

Study: ‘Inconclusive Finding’ by Examiner of Cartridge Casing Should Be Finding of ‘Excluded’ 85% of the Time

by Douglas Ankney

A recent study by researchers from Arizona State University (“ASU”) “found that 85% of cartridge cases that were judged inconclusive by forensic firearm examiners were actually fired by two different guns. In an actual crime scene investigation, that would mean that the cartridge cases did not match ...

Electrocution by Taser Is Not Death From Excited Delirium

by Douglas Ankney

A rose by another name may still be a rose, but electrocution by a cop’s taser is deemed death from excited delirium. At least, that was the determination until recently. In March 2023, the National Association of Medical Examiners (“NAME”) said “excited delirium” should not be cited ...



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