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Articles by Douglas Ankney

Sheriff Ackal’s Corruption Continues to Plague Louisiana Parish

by Douglas Ankney

More than 100 criminal cases in Louisiana’s Iberia Parish have been thrown out due to a federal investigation into Sheriff Louis Ackal’s reign.

And now hundreds more may also get the boot. First Assistant District Attorney Robert Vines sent “Brady letters” (named after Brady v. Maryland ...

First Circuit Vacates Conviction Because Sister had Neither Actual nor Apparent Authority to Consent to Search of Brother’s Bags

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit vacated the conviction of Bryan Moran because his sister, Alysha, had neither actual nor apparent authority to consent to a search of several closed, opaque, black plastic garbage bags he had placed in Alysha’s storage unit. Bryan had ...

South Carolina Supreme Court Grants New Trial Due to Prosecutor’s Prejudicial Closing Remarks

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of South Carolina granted a new trial to Oscar Fortune after the Court determined Fortune’s due process rights were violated by prejudicial remarks from the prosecutor during closing argument.

At Fortune’s murder trial, evidence was presented that both Fortune and victim Anthony Shields possessed ...

3d Circuit: Counsel’s Failure to Investigate Drug Properties for Analogous Drug Comparison at Sentencing Constitutes Ineffective Assistance

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that an attorney’s failure to investigate the properties of methylone after the pre-sentence report (“PSR”) stated the drug was analogous to methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (“MDMA” or “ecstasy”) constituted ineffective assistance of counsel.

While Peter Sepling was on bond awaiting ...

New York Court of Appeals: Police Officers May be Cross-Examined About Acts of Dishonesty Like Any Other Witness

by Douglas Ankney

The Court of Appeals of New York ruled that police officers may be questioned about prior acts of dishonesty, subject to the trial court’s discretion, just like any other witness.

In August 2013, a person fired a single gunshot at a group of teenagers on a street ...

Georgia Supreme Court Clarifies What a Defendant Must ‘Admit’ Before Raising an Affirmative Defense

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Georgia clarified that a criminal defendant need not “admit” anything — in the sense of acknowledging that any facts alleged in the charges against him are true — in order to raise an affirmative defense.

Carlos Richard McClure was found guilty of violating ...

Colorado Supreme Court Reverses Conviction Because Trial Court Failed to Give No-Adverse-Inference Jury Instruction for Choosing Not to Testify

by Douglas Ankney

he Supreme Court of Colorado reversed the conviction of Julian Anastacio Deleon because the trial court failed to give a no-adverse-inference instruction to the jury to explain to them that they could not hold his decision not to testify against him.

Deleon was charged with two counts ...

Idaho Supreme Court: Where Police Were Unaware of Probationer’s Fourth Amendment Waiver Until After Unreasonable Search, Waiver Won’t Make Search Reasonable

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Idaho ruled that when police were unaware of a probationer’s Fourth Amendment waiver until after an unreasonable search was conducted, the police cannot rely on the waiver to sanction the otherwise unreasonable search. The Court also explained why the inevitable discovery doctrine does ...

Illinois Supreme Court: Statute Banning All Sex Offenders on Probation From Accessing or Using Social Networking Websites Facially Unconstitutional

by Douglas Ankney

At issue in this case is the constitutionality of 730 ILCS 5/5-6-3(a)(8.9), which imposes as a condition of probation on all sex offenders a complete, blanket ban from accessing or using any social networking website. The Supreme Court of Illinois held that the statute is unconstitutionally overbroad. ...

Second Circuit Affirms District Court’s Decision Setting Aside Guilty Verdict in a Case of Irreconcilably Inconsistent Verdicts

by Douglas Ankney

In a case of apparent first impression within the circuit, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld a district court’s decision that set aside a guilty verdict in a case where the jury rendered irreconcilably inconsistent verdicts.

A jury found Janine Plaza Pierce guilty ...



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