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Articles by Douglas Ankney

Washington Supreme Court: Ineffective Assistance of Counsel for Failing to Object to Introduction of Inadmissible Evidence

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Washington reversed the convictions of Jessica L. Vazquez after holding that her attorney, Sarah McFadden, was ineffective under the Sixth Amendment for failing to object to the introduction of inadmissible evidence at trial.

Detective Colby Martin and Officer Daniel Vargas assisted in executing ...

Michigan Supreme Court: Parole-Revocation Prison Term Imposed as Result of Separate Wrongful Conviction Is Included in Compensation Under WICA

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Michigan held that time served in prison due to revocation of parole that resulted solely from a wrongful conviction of other offenses is not excluded from compensation under the Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Act (“WICA”), MCL 691.1751 et seq.

In 1987, Desmond Ricks began ...

Maine Supreme Judicial Court Reverses Denial of Suppression Motion and Vacates Murder Conviction

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Judicial Court of Maine reversed the denial of Bruce Akers’ motion to suppress and vacated his murder conviction.

On June 9, 2016, Akers called the local sheriff’s office and spoke with the sergeant. He told the sergeant he suspected his neighbor of stealing some property ...

New Jersey Supreme Court Announces Framework for Requesting Criminal Background Check of Potential Juror and Calls for Judicial Conference to Explore Nature of Discrimination in Jury Selection Process

by Douglas Ankney

In a case of first impression, the Supreme Court of New Jersey announced the framework that governs when a party requests a criminal history check on a prospective juror to determine whether the juror is eligible and to ensure a fair trial. The Court also instructed the ...

First Circuit Orders New Trial Following Detailed Discussion of Entrapment Defense and When Courts Must Give Jury Instruction

by Doug Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit clarified when trial courts must instruct juries on the defense of entrapment.

As part of a “sting” in 2015, Special Agent Ryan Seig of the Homeland Security Investigations Child Exploitation Unit created a fictitious Grindr profile under the ...

Maryland Court of Appeals Announces Standard for Whether Scientific Evidence Is ‘Testimonial’ for Confrontation Right Purposes Under Article 21 of Maryland Declaration of Rights

by Douglas Ankney

Citing lack of clear guidance from the U.S. Supreme Court, the Maryland Court of Appeals (“MCA” or “Court”) announced that issues of confrontation of witnesses will be determined under Article 21 of the Maryland Declaration of Rights (“Article 21”) and further announced the standard for determining whether ...

California Supreme Court Announces Hearsay Regarding Nonpredicate Offenses in Psychological Evaluation Reports Inadmissible in SVP Probable Cause Hearings

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of California held that Welfare and Institution Code § 6602, subd. (a) does not create an exception permitting hearsay regarding nonpredicate offenses to be introduced via psychological evaluation reports. (All statutory references are to the Welfare and Institution Code.)

In June 2015, the District ...

Montana Supreme Court: Detainee Entitled to Pre-Sentence Credit for Time Served Regardless if Also Held in Connection With Another Matter in Another County

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Montana held that Mark Alan Mendoza was entitled to credit for each day he spent in pre-sentence confinement after an arrest warrant for DUI was served on him, regardless of the fact that he was being held in another county on another matter. ...

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Announces Premature Sex Offender Classification of Incarcerated Offender Who Accepted Classification Violates Procedural Due Process

by Douglas Ankney 

The Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) of Massachusetts held that a premature sex offender classification for an incarcerated offender who has waived her right to a classification hearing and accepted her classification violates procedural due process.

Plaintiff “Doe” was convicted of sex offenses in 1970 and 1977, and ...

Tenth Circuit Rejects Qualified Immunity for Prosecutor Alleged to Have Fabricated Evidence, Despite no Previous Case with Materially Similar Facts

by Douglas Ankney 

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit reversed the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah’s decision finding a prosecutor was entitled to qualified immunity in a suit alleging the prosecutor had fabricated evidence.

In 2012, Heidi Truman was killed from a gunshot to ...



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