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Articles by Douglas Ankney

$13.1 Million Settlement Reached by Actor Framed for Murder

by Douglas Ankney

The Board of Supervisors of San Francisco approved a settlement of $13.1 million in a claim brought by a man who had spent more than six years in prison after police framed him for murder. The decision was unanimous.

In 2010, aspiring actor and hip-hop artist Jamal ...

Colorado Supreme Court Announces That the People Cannot Withdraw From a Plea Agreement After the Trial Court Rejects Stipulated Sentence

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Colorado announced that the People cannot withdraw from a plea agreement after the trial court accepts the defendant’s guilty plea but rejects the stipulated sentence contained in the agreement.

Christopher Anthon Mazzarelli entered into an agreement with the People whereby he pleaded guilty ...

SCOTUS: SOL Governing § 1983 Claim Asserting Fabrication of Evidence Begins to Run on Date Criminal Proceedings Are Terminated in Complainant’s Favor

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of the United States (“SCOTUS”) held that the statute of limitations for Edward McDonough’s 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claim alleging that he was prosecuted using fabricated evidence began to run when the criminal proceedings against him terminated in his favor.

McDonough processed absentee ballots ...

New Jersey Supreme Court: Prosecution May Appeal Drug Court Sentence Only When Sentence Is Illegal

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of New Jersey held that the State cannot appeal a “special probation Drug Court sentence” unless the sentence is illegal.

Susan Hyland was driving drunk when she struck and killed a 16-year-old boy. Hyland fled the scene. After she was indicted on three charges, ...

Taking Notes Influences Jurors’ Verdicts

by Douglas Ankney

Research from the University of Liverpool published in PLOS ONE reveals the impact notetaking by jurors has on their ability to recall evidence and on their verdicts.

Participants in a study had their handwriting speed, short-term memory, working memory, and attention assessed. They then watched a video ...

Colorado Supreme Court Announces That Claims of Insufficient Evidence Not Preserved at Trial Are Subject to De Novo Review on Appeal

by Douglas Ankney

In two separate cases, the Supreme Court of Colorado announced that claims challenging the sufficiency of evidence are to be reviewed de novo on appeal even when the claims were not preserved at trial.

In the first case, David Lewis McCoy invited “P.K.” and “G.M.” to his ...

Refusing to Permit Attorney to Make Offer of Proof Is Abuse of Discretion, Says Indiana Supreme Court

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Indiana held that a superior court abuses its discretion when it refuses to allow an attorney to make an offer of proof when the attorney has done nothing to delay or abuse the trial process.

In 2011, the Marion Superior Court sentenced Anthony ...

Massachusetts Supreme Court Holds Statute Requiring GPS Monitoring of Probationers Convicted of Sex Offenses Unconstitutional ‘as Applied’

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts held that Massachusetts General Law, chapter 265, § 47 (“G.L. c. 265, § 47”), is overinclusive and is unconstitutional as applied to Ervin Feliz in requiring him to be subject to Global Positioning System (“GPS”) monitoring as a condition of his ...

Record Number of Exonerations Prompts Michigan AG to Create Conviction Integrity Unit

by Douglas Ankney

Few nightmares can equate with being an innocent person wrongly convicted and incarcerated.

Since innocence projects began appearing in the 1990s, dozens of prisoners in Michigan have been exonerated. In 2017 a record number—14—were exonerated, according to the National Registry of Exonerations. This prompted Michigan Attorney ...

$21 Million Settlement for Wrongfully Convicted Man Released After 39 Years in Prison

by Douglas Ankney

Simi Valley, California, and a wrongfully convicted man who spent nearly four decades in prison have reached a $21 million settlement.

Craig Coley was convicted of the 1978 murders of Rhonda Wicht and her 4-year-old son Donald. Wicht had been raped. Prosecutors sought the death penalty, but ...



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