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Articles by Jacob Barrett

Missouri Supreme Court: Witness’ Two-Way Live Video Feed Testimony Violates Confrontation Clause

 by Jacob Barrett

In a case of first impression in Missouri, the Supreme Court of Missouri held a circuit court violated Rodney A. Smith’s constitutional right to confrontation under both the U.S. Constitution and Missouri Constitution by permitting two-way live video feed testimony at trial of an adult, non-victim ...

Tennessee County Disproportionately Jails Black Children, and It’s Not Getting Better

by Jacob Barrett

Tennessee’s Rutherford County hasbeenunderscrutinyafteritwaswidelycriticizedforitsdysfunctional juvenilejusticesystem.TheCountyhasbeenincarceratingBlackchildrenatadisproportionatelyhighrate, accordingtodataobtainedbyProPublicaandNashvillePublicRadio(“NPR”).Themostrecentdatarevealthat theCounty’sincarcerationofBlackyouthisanextremedeparturefromnationaltrendsandtheCounty’sracial disparityisgettingworse,notbetter.

ProPublica and NPR documented how Rutherford County charged 11 Black children for a crime that did not exist. Four of the children were confined in the County’s juvenile jail.

Followingthepublicationofthestorybythetwonewsorganizations,theyreceivedadditionalreportsfromthe TennesseeCommissiononChildrenandYouththatexposedwhiletheCountywaslockingupsomanykids illegally,itwasalsoincarceratingadisproportionately  highpercentageofBlackchildren.

RutherfordCountybooked childrenintoitsjuvenilejailatleast6,350timesbetweenJuly2010andJune2021, accordingtotheyouthcommissionsmonitoringreports.Thirty-eightpercentofthosewereBlackchildren.That percentageistroublinginlightofthefactBlackchildrenonlymakeup onlyabout16%ofchildreninthe County. ...

A Guide to Getting the Most Out of a Plea Bargain

by Jacob Barrett

Highly experienced lawyers and new lawyers alike can improve their negotiation skills (just as they improve their trial skills). But without legal training, what can you do?

Lawyers often use checklists as part of learning how to handle certain types of cases or defenses. This article is ...

Fourth Circuit: Bodily Injury Sentence Enhancement for Robbery Inapplicable Where Victim Sustained ‘Momentary’ Injury and Sought ‘Precautionary’ Medical Treatment

by Jacob Barrett

TheU.S.CourtofAppeals for theFourthCircuitruledadistrictcourtcannot simply“guess”that a victim suffered a qualifying “bodily injury” in connection with a robbery to trigger the two-level, bodily injury sentence enhancement under U.S. Sentencing Guidelines (“Guidelines”) § 2B3.1(b)(3)(A).

MelvinThomasLewisandtwoothersrobbedapawnshop.Lewisstruckthe managerinthebackoftheheadthreetimes,causinghimtofalltothefloor.Thepoliceobserveda“redspot”onthebackofthemanager’s head, and he stated that he felt “dizzy.” He was taken to the hospital ...

Fifth Circuit: Aggravated Assault in Texas Does Not Qualify as Aggravated Felony Under 8 U.S.C. § 1326(b)(2), Reentry With Prior Aggravated Felony

by Jacob Barrett

OnremandfromtheU.S. SupremeCourt, the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held in light of Borden v.United States,141 S. Ct. 1817 (2021), Alan Victor Gomez Gomez’s conviction for aggravated assault in Texasdoes not qualify as an aggravated felony under 8 U.S.C. § 1326(b)(2).

In a drunken ...

Oregon Bans Police Lying to Obtain Confessions from Juveniles

by Jacob Barrett

On May 24, 2021 the Oregon Legis­lature passed SB 418 banning police from lying to juveniles in order to obtain a confession during interrogations. The bill is part of a number of youth reform measures recently passed by the Legislature. Oregon is only the second state to ...

Oregon Supreme Court Announces Abandonment of Per Se Exigency Rule in Automobile Exception and Holds Warrantless Seizure or Search Must Be Based on Actual Exigent Circumstances

by Jacob Barrett 

The Supreme Court of Oregon affirmed a circuit court order suppressing evidence discovered in a warrantless search conducted pursuant to the automobile exception. In doing so, the Court overruled the per se exigency rule of the automobile exception set forth in State v. Brown, 721 P.2d ...

Oregon Bill Makes it More Difficult to Hide Police Misconduct

by Jacob Barrett

On June 7, 2021 the Oregon Legislature passed HB 3355 establishing identification requirements for law enforcement assigned to “crowdmanagement” events in which large crowds of 50 persons or more are managed to prevent the outbreak of crowd crushes, affrays, fights, or riots. (The bill carves out an ...



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