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Articles by Douglas Ankney

Tenth Circuit: District Court Abused Discretion in Denying § 2255 Petition Without Hearing Where Record Didn’t Conclusively Show Defendant Not Entitled to Relief

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit ruled that a district court abused its discretion when it denied a 28 U.S.C. § 2255 petition without an evidentiary hearing when the record did not conclusively show the movant was not entitled to relief. 

Pursuant to ...

10th Circuit: District Court Must Ensure When Defendant Waives Right to Counsel He Understands He’s Required to Adhere to Federal Procedural and Evidentiary Rules

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit ruled that a district court must ensure that when a criminal defendant waives the right to counsel, the defendant understands he is required to adhere to federal procedural and evidentiary rules. 

Louis Delynn Hansen was indicted for ...

Fifth Circuit: First Step Act Doesn’t Permit Plenary Resentencing in Retroactive Application of the Fair Sentencing Act

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that the First Step Act of 2018 (“First Step Act”) does not permit plenary resentencing when the district court retroactively applies the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 (“Fair Sentencing Act”). In July 2008, Michael Dewayne Hegwood pleaded ...

California Court of Appeal Explains Procedures to Determine Appropriate Relief When Conviction Is Vacated Based on People v. Chiu and Senate Bill 1437

by Douglas Ankney

The Court of Appeal of California, Third Appellate District, explained the procedures to be followed in determining the appropriate relief when a conviction has been vacated based upon Senate Bill 1437 (“SB 1437”) and People v. Chiu, 325 P.3d 972 (Cal. 2014). 

In 2000, Ricky ...

New Jersey Supreme Court Announces New Test to Determine When State May Obtain Second DNA Sample After Unlawfully Obtained First Sample

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of New Jersey rejected the “inevitable discovery doctrine” as being “a poor fit” for determining whether a second DNA sample could be obtained after a trial court determined that the first sample was unlawfully obtained. Instead, the Court announced a new test that is ...

Fourth Circuit Reviews for Plain Error and Vacates Brandishing a Firearm Conviction Obtained Under 18 U.S.C. § 924(C)(3)

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reviewed for plain error and vacated Donald Eugene Walker’s conviction for brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c). Walker pleaded guilty to kidnapping in violation of ...

Fifth Circuit: Practices of Orleans Parish Judges in Collecting Fines and Fees Violates Due Process

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the decision of a district court that granted summary judgment to the plaintiffs in a § 1983 suit alleging that the practices of the judges (“Judges”) of the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court (“OPCDC”) violated the Due ...

Pennsylvania Supreme Court: Probationer Must Violate Specific Condition of Probation or Commit New Crime to Be Found in Violation

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania held that a court must find, based on a preponderance of the evidence, that a probationer violated a specific condition of probation or committed a new crime to be found in violation of probation.

In July 2015, Darnell Foster was sentenced to ...

Kentucky Supreme Court Rules Parole Board’s Revocation Procedures Are Unconstitutional

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Kentucky held that the Parole Board’s (“Board”) current conditional-freedom final revocation hearing procedures for post-incarceration supervisees violate an offender’s due process rights.

David Wayne Bailey was released from prison and placed on a five-year period of post-incarceration supervision. A condition of that supervision ...

Tenth Circuit Vacates Special Condition of Supervised Release That Gave Probation Officers Discretion to Ban Computer and Internet Usage

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit vacated a special condition of supervised release that gave discretion to probation officers to completely ban the defendant’s use of a computer and of the Internet.

Michael Lyle Blair was convicted of possession of child pornography after police ...



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