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Articles by Douglas Ankney

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 ...

Sixth Circuit: Grant of Habeas on Grounds that State Trial Court Violated Defendant’s Right to Present a Complete Defense

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed a district court’s conditional grant of a petition for writ of habeas corpus on grounds that the state court violated the petitioner’s right to present a complete defense when it excluded two exculpatory statements.

When Parish Hickman ...

Washington Supreme Court Affirms Warrantless Search of CSLI Data but Holds Convictions for Both First-degree Rape and Felony Murder Predicated on Rape Violate Double Jeopardy

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Washington affirmed the warrantless search of Bisir Bilal Muhammad’s real-time cell-site location information (“CSLI”) based on exigent circumstances. However, the Court also held that Muhammad’s convictions for first-degree felony murder predicated on rape and for first-degree rape violated double jeopardy.

In November 2014, ...

11th Circuit: General Threat of Harm Inherent in Every Bank Robbery Doesn’t Qualify for ‘Threat-of-Death’ Enhancement

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled that the general threat of harm required in every bank robbery under 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a) does not justify the two-level “threat-of-death” enhancement of U.S.S.G. § 2B3.1(b)(2)(F).

In March 2017, an unarmed Roberto Arturo Perez entered a ...

In Case of First Impression, Pennsylvania Supreme Court Holds Compelling Suspect to Disclose Computer Password Is Testimonial in Nature and Violates Fifth Amendment’s Privilege Against Self Incrimination

By Douglas Ankney

In a case of first impression, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania held that compelling a suspect to disclose the access password to his lawfully seized, but encrypted, personal computer violates the Fifth Amendment’s privilege against self-incrimination.

In 2015, agents from the Office of the Attorney General (“OAG”) ...

Washington Supreme Court Announces Rules for Trial Courts When Implicit Racial Bias Alleged in Jury Decision

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Washington announced procedural rules for trial courts to follow when a post-verdict motion for new trial alleges implicit racial bias of a juror or jurors.

The day after Tomas Mussie Berhe was convicted of murder and other crimes, Juror 6 contacted the trial ...

Indiana Supreme Court Announces Analytical Framework When Determining Whether Punitive In Rem Forfeiture Violates Excessive Fines Clause

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Indiana announced the analytical framework for courts to use when determining whether a punitive in rem forfeiture violates the Excessive Fines Clause of the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. [Note: An action in rem is brought against “a thing or property” as ...



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