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Articles by Douglas Ankney

Arizona Supreme Court Announces ‘Person’ in Self-Defense Statute Applies Only to Defendant, Not Victim as Well

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Arizona held that the word “person” in the state’s self-defense justification statute, A.R.S. § 13-404(A), applies only to a defendant’s conduct, not the victim’s as well.

Jordan Christopher Ewer and two others confronted two people identified as “Gilbert” and “Emily.” Ewer drew his ...

Second Circuit: Second-Degree Kidnapping Under New York Penal Law § 135.20 Not Categorically a Crime of Violence

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that kidnapping in the second degree under New York Penal Law (“NYPL”) § 135.20 is not categorically a crime of violence pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(3)(A).

In June 2021, the Second Circuit affirmed the judgment against ...

Eleventh Circuit Announces Definition of ‘Controlled Substance Offense’ in Guidelines § 4B1.2(b) Does Not Include Inchoate Offenses and Expressly Overrules Precedent Holding to the Contrary

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, sitting en banc, held that the definition of “controlled substance offense” for purposes of the career offender sentencing enhancement under U.S. Sentencing Guideline (“USSG”) § 4B1.2(b) unambiguously excludes inchoate offenses like conspiracy and attempt, and therefore, the commentary ...

Kansas Supreme Court Announces Legislature Intended to Tie One Unit of Prosecution to Multiple Items of Drug Paraphernalia Under K.S.A. 2016 Supp. § 21-5709(b)(1) and (b)(2)

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Kansas held that the Legislature intended to tie a single unit of prosecution to multiple items of drug paraphernalia in K.S.A. 2016 Supp. 21-5709(b)(1) (“§ 21-5709(b)(1)”) and K.S.A. 2016 Supp. § 21-5709(b)(2) (“§ 21-5709(b)(2)”).

After Amber Dial reported to the Miami County Sheriff’s ...

Mississippi Supreme Court: Court of Appeals Improperly Permitted State to Supplement Record on Appeal in Reviewing Habitual Offender Determination

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Mississippi, sitting en banc, held that the Court of Appeals (“COA”) improperly permitted the State to add to the record on appeal and the evidence presented to the trial court was insufficient to sustain a finding that Lorenzo Manuel was a habitual offender. ...

Fifth Circuit Announces Statute Prohibiting Firearm Possession by Person Subject to Domestic Violence Restraining Order Is Unconstitutional in Light of Bruen

by Douglas Ankney

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that the federal statute which prohibits the possession of firearms by a person subject to a domestic violence restraining order, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8), is unconstitutional in light of N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n, Inc. v. ...

California Supreme Court Announces Proof of First Degree Poison Murder Requires Showing Defendant Deliberately Gave Victim Poison with Intent to Kill or Inflict Injury Likely to Cause Death

by Douglas Ankney

In a case of first impression, the Supreme Court of California clarified that proof of first-degree murder by means of poison requires the prosecution to show that the defendant deliberately gave the victim poison with the intent to kill the victim or to inflict injury likely to ...

Holding Bad Cops Accountable Is the Way Forward in Police Reform

by Douglas Ankney

The continuous refrain of “police reform” touting “better training” and laws banning actions such as chokeholds seems to echo endlessly. In 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act (“Act”), but it died in the Senate. However, even if the Act’s ...

Police Unions Continue Overt and Covert Actions Designed to Weaken Oversight Boards

by Douglas Ankney

The group “Voters for Oversight and Police Accountability” (VOPA) apparently amassed the 25,000 signatures needed in Austin, Texas, to have a referendum entitled “Austin Police Oversight Act” added to the ballot. But there was already an “Austin Police Oversight Act” on the ballot seeking to open police ...

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals: Trial Court Deprived Defendant of Opportunity to Present Complete Defense

by Douglas Ankney 

The Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas held that the trial court erred when it prohibited William Rogers from presenting evidence to support his claim of self-defense and also when it refused to instruct the jury on self-defense.

Rogers was tried by jury on charges of Burglary ...



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