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Articles by Douglas Ankney

First Circuit: Application of Subsequent Guidelines Manual to a Prior, Ungrouped Offense Violates Ex Post Facto Clause

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held that a district court violated the Ex Post Facto Clause when it applied the 2016 Guidelines Sentencing Manual to an ungrouped offense committed in 2001. This case of first impression in the First Circuit “concerns the interaction ...

Tennessee Supreme Court Reverses Conviction Because Trial Court Refused to Give ‘Necessity’ Jury Instruction Because Defendant Never Testified About Mental State

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Tennessee reversed Brandon Cole-Pugh’s conviction because the trial court refused to instruct the jury on the defense of necessity.

According to witness Michael Douglas, while Cole-Pugh was inside The Gold Line Market, he saw that a Ms. Thomas was arguing with two men. ...

Sixth Circuit Reverses District Court’s Denial of Safety-Valve Relief

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed the judgment of a district court that denied safety-valve relief under U.S.S.G. §§ 5C1.2 and 2D1.1(b)(17) to Nestor Barron.

In July of 2017, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at the residence of Lara Salas in ...

Georgia Supreme Court Announces Fundamental Overhaul of Jurisprudence Governing Appeals of Guilty Pleas and Out-of-Time Appeals

by Douglas Ankney

In a landmark ruling, the Supreme Court of Georgia completely overhauled the state’s jurisprudence governing appeals of cases that resulted in guilty pleas and governing out-of-time appeals, overturning more than 75 prior decisions.

In September 2009, Cordalero Collier pleaded guilty to felony murder, and the court sentenced ...

California Court of Appeal: Equal Protection Requires Pretrial Detainees on Home Confinement Be Eligible for Good Conduct Credits

by Douglas Ankney

The Court of Appeal of California, First Appellate District, Division Two, held that equal protection requires that pretrial detainees held in home confinement on electronic monitoring be eligible for good conduct credits against their sentences later imposed by the trial court.

William Antonio Yanez pleaded no contest ...

Georgia Supreme Court: Warrantless Search of Vehicle’s Airbag Control Module is Unconstitutional

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Georgia held that a warrantless search of a vehicle’s airbag control module (“ACM”) is unconstitutional.

In December 2015, Victor Mobley was driving his 2014 Dodge Charger when he collided with a 1999 Corvette. Mobley survived the crash, but the two people in the ...

Seventh Circuit Vacates Sentence Because Sentencing Judge Should Have Recused Himself Due to Ex Parte Communications with U.S. Attorney’s Office

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit vacated the sentence of James Atwood because Judge Colin S. Bruce should have recused himself before imposing a sentence on Atwood because of Bruce’s ex parte communications with the prosecuting U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Atwood appeared before Bruce for ...

Santa Didn’t Create Naughty Cops List, But It’s Worth Checking Twice

by Douglas Ankney

The New York City Police Department (“NYPD”) has members who made the “naughty list” of the Bronx District Attorney’s Office. The heavily redacted list — obtained October 7, 2019 by the New York Post through a Freedom of Information Request — names 75 current and former officers, ...

Nevada Supreme Court: Trial Court Must Give Manslaughter Instruction Even When Evidence Is Circumstantial

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Nevada held that a district court must instruct the jury on voluntary manslaughter when requested by the defense so long as it is supported by some evidence, even if that evidence is circumstantial.

Late one night in Las Vegas, witnesses heard rapid gunfire ...

Supreme Court of Hawai’i Rules Presenting Falsified Polygraph Results Is Coercive Per Se

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Hawai’i ruled that when police communicate a deliberate falsehood about the results of a polygraph test during interrogation the falsehood is an extrinsic falsehood that is coercive per se, and any subsequent inculpatory statements are inadmissible at trial.

Keith T. Matsumoto was the ...



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