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Articles by Douglas Ankney

Seventh Circuit: Claim for Unlawful Pretrial Detention Accrues on Date of Release

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has held that the accrual date for claims for arrest and detention without probable cause is the date the detention ends.

Maurice Lewis was confined in the Cook County Jail for over two years awaiting trial on charges ...

In Landmark Civil Asset Forfeiture Case, U.S. Supreme Court Holds Excessive Fines Clause of Eighth Amendment Applicable to States

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of the United States (“SCOTUS”) held that the Excessive Fines Clause of the Eighth Amendment is applicable to the states through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, inclusive of civil in rem forfeiture cases.

After Tyson Timbs pleaded guilty in an Indiana ...

Arkansas Supreme Court: Search of Wallet Exceeded Scope of Lawful ‘Terry’ Frisk for Weapons

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Arkansas ruled that the search of a defendant’s wallet during a frisk for weapons pursuant to an investigatory detention constituted an unconstitutional search.

Corporal Kenneth Kennedy of the Clarksville Police Department discovered a parked car in a medium to high crime area of ...

N.C. Supreme Court: Hiring and Paying a Hit Man Not Overt Act Necessary for Attempted Murder Charge

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of North Caro­lina ruled that hiring an undercover officer posing as a hit man to kill another person does not satisfy the element of committing “an overt act” toward completion of the offense of attempted murder.

On February 3, 2015, Darrell Lee ...

Judge Urges Prosecution to Appeal Dismissal of Murder Charge

by Douglas Ankney

After a two-and-a-half-hour hearing, Judge Catherine Wilking of Natrona County, Wyoming, dismissed a first-degree murder charge against Jason T. John. During the hearing, and at its conclusion, Wilking urged that her decision be appealed.

In July of this year, Wyoming’s “stand your ground” law took ...

Custodial Interrogation Must Cease When Suspect Unambiguously Invokes Right to Remain Silent, Says Fourth Circuit

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that investigators failed to scrupulously honor defendant’s invocation of his right to remain silent by continuing to question him after announcing he “wasn’t going to say anything at all.” As a result, the Court ruled that ...

Fifth Circuit: Introduction of Deposition Video Without Making Good-Faith Effort to Secure Witnesses’ Presence at Trial Violates Confrontation Clause

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that the Sixth Amendment’s Confrontation Clause was violated when the Government introduced videotaped deposition testimony without making a good-faith effort, based on the facts of the case, to secure the witnesses’ presence at trial. As such, the ...

Oklahoma Supreme Court Announces Drug Court Dismissal of Charges After Successful Completion of Drug Program Entitles Defendant to Immediate Expungement

by Douglas Ankney

On December 18, 2018, the Supreme Court of Oklahoma ruled that when a drug court dismisses charges after a defendant’s successful completion of a treatment program, then the defendant is entitled to have the record expunged.

In July 2009, a petitioner identified as “D.A.,” was sentenced ...

SCOTUS: Florida’s Robbery Statute Satisfies Physical Force Requirement of Armed Career Criminal Act

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of the United States (“SCOTUS”) held that the amount of force necessary to sustain a conviction for robbery in Florida satisfies the elements clause of 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(2)(B)(i) (“ACCA”).

In July 2015, Miami Beach Police confronted Denard Stokeling about a burglary. They removed ...

California Court of Appeal: Using Criminal Process to Collect Fines That Indigent Defendants Cannot Pay Is Unconstitutional

by Douglas Ankney

On January 8, 2019, the Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District of the state of California ruled that when the only reason a defendant cannot pay a fine and court fees is the defendant’s poverty, then using the criminal process to collect the fine and ...



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