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Articles by Douglas Ankney

Police, Prosecutors Use Asset Forfeitures to Lease SUVs, Customize Motorcycles, Install WiFi at Home, and More

by Douglas Ankney

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, District Attorney Craig Stedman spent more than $21,000 of drug forfeiture money to lease a 2016 Toyota Highlander. After Stedman was ordered to release records of hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional expenditures from “drug-related” forfeitures, he appealed to the Court of Common ...

Another Life Ruined as a Result of a Bad Cop and Failure to Follow Policy

by Douglas Ankney

Michael Ryan spent 29 years of his life dedicated to instructing the youth of Hammonton Public Schools. Instead of a retirement party and send off, he was suspended and hauled off the premises by school officials. 

Easthampton Police Officer Michael Musser accused Ryan of committing a ...

$250,000 Awarded to Woman Who Spent 96 Days in Jail

by Douglas Ankney

A jury in Aberdeen, Mississippi, awarded Jessica Jauch $250,000 after she spent 96 days in jail without seeing a judge. Jauch was arrested on traffic charges in 2012 but was held in the Choctaw County Jail after being served with a drug indictment. While locked up, Jauch ...

Misconduct Suits Against New York City Police Department on the Rise

by Douglas Ankney

After two years of being on the decline, misconduct suits against New York City’s Police Department (“NYPD”) are on the rise. In 2018, there were 1,586 claims filed compared with 1,391 submitted in 2017. There has been a downward trend since 2014 when 3,084 claims were filed. ...

Study: Technology Creates and Embeds Bias in the Criminal Justice System

by Douglas Ankney

Automatic License Plate Readers (“ALPR”), facial recognition technology, and predictive policing are some of the new weapons in the arsenal of the police state. And minority communities are caught in the crosshairs.

The failures of facial-recognition technology are widely known. According to a study by the Massachusetts ...

Court’s in Session: The Honorable Algorithm Presiding

by Douglas Ankney

According to a new report from MIT Technology Review, judges are increasingly relying on “criminal risk assessment algorithms.” The algorithms assign recidivism scores to prisoners that estimate the likelihood he or she may reoffend. A lower score means a kinder fate while a higher score leads to ...

Taking Pictures in the Dark: Florida Police Not Forthcoming About Investigations Using Facial Recognition Software

by Douglas Ankney

Florida law enforcement uses what is known as the Face Analysis Comparison Examination System (“FACES”), which selects from more than 33 million driver’s license and law enforcement photographs.

FACES is designed to return multiple possible matches for an uploaded image. The current system was implemented in 2001. ...

In a Rare Move, California Court of Appeal Discharges Prisoner from All Forms of Custody, Including Parole, After Finding Time Served in Prison Grossly Disproportionate to His Offense

by Douglas Ankney

The Court of Appeal of California, First Appellate District, discharged William E. Palmer II from all forms of custody, including parole supervision, after finding the time he had previously served in prison was grossly disproportionate to his offense.

In 1988, 17-year-old Palmer waited in a parking garage ...

Hawai’i Supreme Court: Cumulative Effect of Multiple Instances of Prosecutorial Misconduct Requires Reversal

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Hawai’i reversed the murder conviction of Iosefa Meafua Pasene due to the cumulative effect of multiple instances of prosecutorial misconduct.

In the early morning hours of March 28, 2009, Pasene, Cedro Muna, and Antonius Toloai were released from the custody of the Honolulu ...

Eighth Circuit: Forfeited Claim of Miscalculated Criminal History Score Is Reviewable Under Plain Error Standard

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit held that the forfeited claim of a miscalculated criminal-history score is reviewable for plain error.

Barthman pleaded guilty to one count of child pornography involving a prepubescent minor, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(4)(B), (b)(2). He was ...



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