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Articles by Harold Hempstead

Massachusetts Supreme Court Announces When Clock Begins to Run on Statutory Pretrial Detention

by Harold Hempstead

The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts held that the pretrial detention period in General Laws c. 276, § 58B begins to run when a defendant is detained, not when an order of detention is formally issued.

On December 26, 2021, while Chayanne Velazquez was on bail on cases he had pending in the Boston Municipal Court (“BML”) and the Superior Court in Middlesex County (“SCMC”), he “allegedly committed an assault and battery….”. He was arraigned on the new charge on February 2, 2022, in the Lynn Division of the District Department (“Lynn District Court”). The Commonwealth filed motions in the Lynn District Court, requesting pretrial detention for Velazquez on his new case, GLC 276, § 58A, that his bail be revoked, and that he be detained on the cases he had pending in the BML and the SCMC. § 58B.

The arraignment judge found that probable cause existed under § 58A to detain Velazquez without bail until the court heard arguments on the Commonwealth’s motions. At the February 8, 2022, hearing on the motions, the judge ordered Velazquez be detained until June 8, 2022, (120 days) on the Lynn District Court case (§ 58A) and until May ...

Georgia Supreme Court: Trial Courts Are Bound to Follow Precedent of Court of Appeals

by Harold Hempstead

The Supreme Court of Georgia granted John A. Esposito’s application for discretionary appeal to answer in the affirmative the question of whether trial courts are bound to follow precedents of the Court of Appeals that have not been overturned.

On June 11, 2022, the trial court issued ...

Massachusetts Supreme Court: Probationer’s Due Process Right to Present a Defense Violated Where Denied Opportunity to Call Complainant Who Alleged Sexual Assault as a Witness During Probation Revocation Hearing

by Harold Hempstead

The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts held that a probationer’s due process right to present a defense was violated when he was precluded from calling the complainant as a witness at his probation violation hearing.

In 2008, Concetto Costa pleaded guilty to pleaded guilty to multiple sex ...

Maryland Court of Appeals: ‘No Objection’ to Introduction of Evidence at Trial That Was the Subject of Denied Motion to Suppress Does Not Waive Right to Appellate Review of Denial

by Harold Hempstead

The Court of Appeals of Maryland held that defense counsel did not waive Luis F. Huggins’ right to appeal the denial of his motion to suppress the warrantless search of his hotel room, by affirmatively stating “no objection,” when the State moved to introduce the evidence from ...

California Court of Appeal: ‘Actual Killer’ Under Felony-Murder Rule Means Person ‘Who Personally Killed the Victim”

by Harold Hempstead

The Court of Appeal of California, Third Appellate District, held that the term “actual killer” under the current felony-murder rule, as amended by Senate Bill No. 1437 (2017-2018 Reg. Sess.), means the person who personally committed the homicidal act.

On February 3, 2017, Jerry Vang got in ...

Nevada Supreme Court: Trial Court Erred in Denying Motion to Substitute Counsel Where Ample Evidence Showed Counsel Was Unprepared and Motion Timely

by Harold Hempstead

The Supreme Court of Nevada ruled that a trial court erred in denying defendant’s motion to substitute counsel where the record demonstrated defense counsel was unprepared for trial and motion was timely.

Dequincy Brass was charged with 22 crimes based on allegations that he kidnapped and sexually ...

Fifth Circuit: District Court Erred in Finding That a Fourth Amendment Stop Did Not Occur

by Harold Hempstead

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana erred in finding that a Fourth Amendment stop did not occur when “deputies flagged down [Neguel A.] Morris’s car, or when they ordered him to get ...

NYC: The First DNA Gun Crimes Unit in America

by Harold Hempstead

In the beginning of July 2022, New York City Mayor Eric Adams and the City’s Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Jason Graham announced at a press conference that NYC is opening the nation’s very first DNA “gun crimes unit at a public DNA crime laboratory.”

The two-and-a-half million ...

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Announces Challenge to Presumptively Vindictive Sentence Constitutes ‘Legality Challenge’ and Thus Cognizable Under PCRA

by Harold Hempstead

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania held that a vindictive sentencing claim pursuant to North Carolina v. Pearce, 395 U.S. 711 (1969), meets the definition of a legality challenge that is cognizable under the Post-Conviction Relief Act (“PCRA”), 42 Pa.C.S. §§ 9541-46.

In 2007, Mark Prinkey was ...

California Court of Appeal: Statute Allowing Noncitizens to Vacate Convictions Due to Failure to Understand Adverse Immigration Consequences Applies Retroactively to Convictions Resulting From Trials That Are Not Yet Final

by Harold Hempstead

The Court of Appeal of California, Third Appellate District, held that Assembly Bill No. 1259’s (2021-2022 Reg. Sess.) ameliorative changes to Penal Code § 1473.7 apply retroactively to defendants who were convicted by trial as well as by plea, whose cases are not yet final, and who ...



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