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Articles by Douglas Ankney

Maine Supreme Court Declares Blood Draw Statute Unconstitutional, Overruling Cormier

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Maine declared 29-A M.R.S. §§ 2522(2) and 2522(3) facially unconstitutional, overruling State v. Cormier, 928 A.2d 753 (Me. 2007).

Randall J. Weddle was pinned inside the cab of his tractor-trailer as the result of an accident that involved five vehicles. ...

Connecticut Supreme Court Clarifies Standard of Review for Confrontation Clause Claims; Reverses and Remands for a New Trial

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Connecticut clarified the standard of review for claimed violations of the Sixth Amendment’s Confrontation Clause and reversed the judgment of the Appellate Court affirming the convictions of Horvil F. Lebrick.

Lebrick was charged with attempted robbery and felony murder, among other things, ...

More Crooked Cops in New York City Make the Naughty List

by Douglas Ankney

In October of 2019, the Bronx District Attorney released a heavily redacted list of 75 cops whose testimony the District Attorney’s office feared would undermine cases. Because many of those cops were proven to be liars, the prosecutors won’t call them as witnesses.

Prior to the release ...

White Cop Gets 10 Years for Murder; Black Kid Gets 10 Days for Oversleeping

by Douglas Ankney

Former white police officer Amber Guyger murdered her black neighbor and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. In contrast, 21-year-old Deandre Somerville, a black college student from Palm Beach County, Florida, committed the offense of oversleeping and arriving late for jury duty.

Somerville — who has ...

Prosecutors Transform Due Process into ‘Dues Processed’

by Douglas Ankney

Criminal justice reform advocates often espouse pretrial diversion programs. These programs permit accused citizens to pay a fee and take a class or two in exchange for dismissal of the charges and a clean record.

The prosecutor doesn’t have to spend time or resources prosecuting the charges, ...

Sixth Circuit Vacates Sentence Because District Court Relied on Uncharged Shooting Allegation for Upward Departure from Sentencing Guidelines Range

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit vacated the sentence of Andre D. Hatcher, Jr. because the district court relied on an uncharged shooting allegation as a reason for imposing a sentence that was an upward departure from the Sentencing Guidelines range.

In March 2017, ...

Washington Supreme Court Remands for Resentencing Where State Failed to Prove Criminal History

by Douglas Ankney

In an enbanc decision, the Supreme Court of Washington reversed and remanded for resentencing where the State failed to prove a defendant’s criminal history beyond a reasonable doubt.

A jury convicted Brandon Cate of burglary, theft, and malicious mischief in Okanogan County Superior Court. Cate testified that ...

Washington Supreme Court Affirms Reversals of Murder Convictions, Overrules Townsend

by Douglas Ankney

In these consolidated cases, the Supreme Court of Washington overruled State v. Townsend, 15 P.3d 145 (Wash. 2001), and affirmed, albeit on different grounds, the decision of the Court of Appeals reversing the felony-murder convictions of Michael Bienhoff and Karl Pierce.

Before Washington legalized the cultivation and ...

Ninth Circuit Affirms Habeas Relief Where Counsel Failed to Present Mitigating Evidence at Penalty Phase

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a district court’s judgment granting habeas relief to Jesse James Andrews because his attorneys failed to present extensive and compelling mitigating evidence at the penalty phase after a jury found him guilty of capital crimes.

A jury ...

Georgia Supreme Court Reverses Conviction for Failure to Give Accomplice-Corroboration Jury Instruction

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Georgia reversed the convictions of Matthew Doyle because the trial court failed to charge the jury on the requirement for corroboration of accomplice testimony.

At Doyle’s murder trial, Keith Richardson testified that he picked up Lewis Parks and Doyle in his blue Ford ...



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