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Articles by Douglas Ankney

Maryland Supreme Court Announces Expectation of Privacy Covers Electronic Data, Not Physical Devices, Thus War-rantless Search of Government’s Copy of Defendant’s Hard Drive After Consent Revoked Violated Fourth Amendment

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Maryland (formerly the Court of Appeals) held that a defendant had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the digital content of the hard drive to his computer; therefore, a warrantless search of the Government’s copy of the hard drive after the defendant had ...

Fifth Circuit Affirms Habeas Relief Granted to Capital Defendant Where Counsel Failed to Impeach State’s Pivotal Wit-ness with Available Forensic Evidence

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana’s grant of habeas relief to a capital defendant where defense counsel failed to impeach the State’s pivotal witness with available forensic evidence.

Jarrell Neal, his half-brother Zannie ...

Human DNA Retrieved From Dogs Might Provide Evidence

by Douglas Ankney

Researchers from Flinders University in Australia published the results of a study involving the work of the Victoria Police Forensic Services Department and Deakin University regarding the collection of human DNA from 20 dogs from separate households. Wearing clean gloves, researchers swabbed samples from the dogs’ chests, ...

Sixth Circuit: Trial Judge’s Personal and Condemnatory Remarks Directed Toward Defendant Requires Recusal

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that a trial judge’s personal and condemnatory remarks directed toward a defendant required recusal of the judge.

Leron Liggins was charged with drug-related offenses in Michigan and Kentucky in 2018. Liggins stated his intention to plead guilty ...

California Court of Appeal: Defendants Who Plead Guilty to Stipulated Sentence Eligible for Resentencing Under Amended § 1170.91

by Douglas Ankney

The California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, held that defendants who plead guilty to a stipulated sentence are eligible for resentencing under California Penal Code § 1170.91, as amended. (Note: All statutory references are to the California Penal Code.)

In 2002, Ronnie Keith Harrell, pursuant to a ...

California Bans Bogus ‘Excited Delirium’ Diagnosis as Cause of Death

by Douglas Ankney

In October 2023, California Governor Gavin Newsome signed a bill into law that prohibits “excited delirium” from being recognized as a valid diagnosis or cause of death. The law was prompted by the death of Angelo Quinto in 2020 who, while suffering a mental health crisis, lost ...

New Mexico Supreme Court Clarifies When Reviewing Double Jeopardy Claims, Court to Apply Blockburger’s Strict-Elements Test or Modified Strict-Elements Test—Not Both

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of New Mexico clarified that when reviewing claims of double jeopardy, the court is to apply either the strict-elements test of Blockburger v. United States, 284 U.S. 299 (1932), or the modified strict-elements test of State v. Gutierrez, 258 P.3d 1024 (N.M 2011), but ...

FBI Lost Count of Its Snitches at Capitol on January 6, 2021

by Douglas Ankney

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) had so many snitches at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, that the agency lost track of the number. Steven D’Antouno, formerly in charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office (“WFO”) testified behind closed doors to the House Judiciary Committee (“Committee”) ...

U.S. Supreme Court Apparently Prioritizes Ideology Over Guilt or Innocence

by Douglas Ankney

The current justices on the Supreme Court of the United States (“SCOTUS”) apparently prioritize ideology over guilt or innocence. Almost 40 years ago, SCOTUS held that the U.S. Constitution’s Sixth Amendment guarantee of a right to counsel meant that criminal defendants have a right to the “effective ...

Kansas Supreme Court Announces State Must Prove Defendant Specifically Intended to Enter Dwelling in Which There Was a Person to Sustain Conviction for Attempted Aggravated Burglary, Overruling State v. Watson

Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Kansas held that the State must prove a defendant specifically intended to enter a dwelling in which there was a person to sustain a conviction for attempted aggravated burglary and thus expressly overruled State v. Watson, 885 P.2d 1226 (Kan. 1994), which had held ...



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