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Articles by Douglas Ankney

Sixth Circuit: COA Not Required to Appeal Order Denying Rule 4(a)(5) Motion for Extension of Time to File Notice of Appeal

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that a Certificate of Appealability (“COA”) is not required when appealing a district court’s order denying a motion for an extension of time to file a notice of appeal brought pursuant to Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure ...

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Clarifies Ex Post Facto Analysis Focuses on When, Not Where, Crime Occurred and Does Not Require Showing of Disadvantage to Defendant

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania held that the state’s sex-offender registry law constitutes punishment when imposed retroactively to sex offenders who committed their offenses prior to the law’s enactment and whose triggering offenses occurred in another state and thus amounts to an unconstitutional ex post facto law. ...

The War in Ukraine Raises Awareness About Secure Communications During a Crisis

by Anthony W. Accurso

While many people in the U.S. see their government as nosy, but largely benign when compared to oppressive regimes such as North Korea or Iran, the people of Ukraine and Russia are learning hard lessons about the importance of secure messaging, especially when it concerns the ...

Inflation Transforming Petty Offenses Into Felonies

by Douglas Ankney

In the recent collective memory of Americans, $200 purchased almost 100 gallons of gasoline. Today, fewer than 50 gallons of gas can be purchased with that same $200. Two years ago, theft of that 50 gallons of gas in New Jersey was a misdemeanor. Today, that same ...

NYPD Continues Its Longstanding Tradition of Thwarting Misconduct Investigations and Evading Accountability

by Douglas Ankney

New York City’s Police Department (“NYPD”) has been described by journalists as being worse than the CIA and FBI when it comes to record requests. According to, the FBI and the CIA say the NYPD is worse than a rogue state when it comes to ...

Border Patrol Agents Track and Spy on U.S. Journalists and Unidentified Members of Congress

by Douglas Ankney

The Associated Press (“AP”) confirmed a Yahoo News report revealing that in 2017, Department of Homeland Security’s (“DHS”) Customs and Border Patrol (“CBP”) unit identified as the Counter Network Division used government databases designed for tracking terrorists to investigate as many as 20 U.S.-based journalists, congressional staffers, ...

Maine’s Law Enforcement Agencies, Like Those of Most States, Don’t Track Complaints Against Police Officers

by Douglas Ankney

The WMTW 8 Investigates Team partnered with the Maine Freedom of Information Coalition to review hundreds of documents and other data obtained from 135 Maine law enforcement agencies (“Agencies”). The Agencies were asked to provide the number of citizen complaints against officers and the details on any ...

Seventh Circuit: District Court’s Failure to Exercise Discretion After Erroneously Finding Defendant Ineligible for Relief Under First Step Act Was Abuse of Discretion

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled that the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois abused its discretion when it failed to exercise its discretion after erroneously determining Montrell McSwain was ineligible for relief under § 404(b) of the First Step ...

Seventh Circuit Vacates Sentence Where District Court’s Rationale for Defendant’s Offense Level Unclear

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit vacated Darrell Loving’s sentence because the reasons given by the U.S. District Court for the District of Indiana for arriving at an offense level of 24 were unclear.

Loving pleaded guilty to possessing cocaine and heroin with intent ...

Cops in Virginia Beach Used Fake DNA Reports During Interrogations

by Douglas Ankney

Apparently, cops in Virginia Beach are not troubled by a lack of DNA evidence when investigating crimes. Their remedy is to simply create fake certificates of analysis (“COA”) purported to be from the Virginia Department of Forensic Science (“DFS”). In an investigation begun by outgoing Democratic Attorney ...



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