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Articles by Douglas Ankney

Missouri Supreme Court Issues Writ of Prohibition Prohibiting Circuit Court From Revoking Probation After Probation Term Had Already Expired

by Douglas Ankney

On December 11, 2014, the circuit court sentenced Travis Jones to 10 years in prison following his guilty plea to one count of felonious restraint. The circuit court suspended execution of that sentence and placed Jones on probation for five years. Beginning from January 2015 until his ...

11th Circuit Holds Conviction Under Georgia’s Aggravated Assault Statute Is Not a ‘Crime of Violence’ When Based Upon a Mens Rea of Recklessness

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit held that convictions under Georgia’s aggravated assault statute, O.C.G.A. § 16-5-21(a)(2), that are based upon simple assault, O.C.G.A. § 16-5-20(a)(2), are not crimes of violence for purposes of the Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”). 18 U.S.C. § 924(e). ...

Attempted Felony-Murder Is Not a Cognizable Crime in West Virginia

by Douglas Ankney

Maurice Stephen Sanders and Deshaun Evans decided to rob drug dealer Josh Palmer. Both Sanders and Evans had guns. In the course of the robbery, a neighbor of Palmer—Christopher Greene—was pistol-whipped and robbed. Greene’s wife, Michelle, sustained a single gunshot wound. Fortunately, no one died. Sanders and ...

Washington Supreme Court Rules Attenuation Doctrine Inapplicable Where Police Illegally Seize Person Followed by Ferrier Warnings and Consent to Search, Evidence Must Be Suppressed

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Washington held that the federal attenuation doctrine is not incompatible with the exclusionary rule of article I, section 7 of the Washington State Constitution if the attenuation is narrowly applied only to instances “where unforeseeable circumstances genuinely sever the causal connection between official ...

Second Circuit Rules District Court Improperly Denied Coram Nobis Petition Claiming Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that the district court erred in denying a writ of error coram nobis that claimed ineffective assistance of counsel due to counsel’s erroneous advice regarding deportation as a result of a guilty plea.

Defendant, identified as John ...

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Announces in Case of First Impression That Police Causing Cellphone to Reveal Its Real Time Location Is a Search Under State Constitution

by Douglas Ankney

In a case of first impression, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts held that when police take action to cause a cellphone to reveal its real-time location, it is a search under Article 14 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights.

Two eyewitnesses identified Jerome Almonor as the ...

Using Technology to Erase Old Pot Convictions is the Buzz in Los Angeles

by Douglas Ankney

Prosecutors in Los Angeles are using computer algorithms to wipe out or reduce up to 50,000 old marijuana convictions, years after the drug was legalized by voters in California. The county is teaming up with Code for America, a nonprofit tech organization that uses algorithms ...

Illinois Data Collection Law Set to Expire; Collected Data Reveal Police Target Black and Latino Drivers

by Douglas Ankney

A law in Illinois that requires data to be reported from state and local police to the Illinois Department of Transportation is set to expire this July. Because “[t]ransparency is the first step toward police accountability and reform,” there are calls to make the law permanent.

A ...

If You’re Unlucky or Black, Your Prison Sentence Could Be 63 Percent Longer

by Douglas Ankney

A new report from the U.S. Sentencing Commission reveals that the length of a defendant’s prison sentence increasingly depends on the whims of the judge. For example, in Philadelphia, some of the judges ordered sentences 63 percent longer than their colleagues for identical crimes. Doug Berman, ...

Eighth Circuit: Misprision of Felony Conviction of Participant in Underlying Felony Violates Fifth Amendment

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled that a defendant’s misprision of felony conviction for failing to report a felony in which the defendant was herself involved violates the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.

Elsa Solis was convicted of conspiring to possess with intent ...



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