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Prisoner Education Guide

Articles by Mark Wilson

Ninth Circuit: Washington State Accomplice Liability Drug Offenses Not ACCA Predicates

by Mark Wilson

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that Washington state’s accomplice liability statute renders the state’s drug trafficking law too broad to serve as an Armed Career Criminal Act (“ACCA”) predicate offense. 

The ACCA requires a 15-year mandatory minimum sentence for individuals ...

Oregon Supreme Court: State Prohibited From Introducing Breath Test Refusal as Evidence of DUI

by Mark Wilson

The Supreme Court of Oregon held that the Oregon Constitution prohibits prosecutors from using a criminal defendant’s refusal to submit to a breath test as evidence against him in a prosecution for driving under the influence of intoxicants (“DUI”). 

Under Oregon’s Implied Consent law, an individual ...

New Mexico AG’s 4-Year Non-Disclosure of Public Records Triggers $100 a Day Statutory Damages

by Mark Wilson

The New Mexico Court of Appeals held that the state was required to pay statutory damages of $100 per day for a four-year non-disclosure of requested public records.

Longtime animal welfare activist Marcy Britton learned of raids by the newly formed New Mexico Attorney General’s Animal Cruelty ...

$25,000 Settlement Over Connecticut False Arrest and Malicious Prosecution Claims

by Mark Wilson

The City of Norwalk, Connecticut, paid $25,000 to settle false arrest and malicious prosecution claims against a Norwalk Police Department (NPD) detective.

On October 3, 2013, Robert Ragsdale complained to the NPD that he was robbed by an assailant who stole his watch and $10. He ...

$160,000 Paid by Norwalk, Connecticut, to Settle Police Beating of COPD Patient

by Mark Wilson

The City of Norwalk, Connecticut, paid $160,000 to settle false arrest and excessive force claims against several Norwalk Police Department (“NPD”) officers.

At about 5:40 a.m., on September 8, 2011, William Irwin was asleep in his bed in a Norwalk apartment he shared with ...

Oregon Supreme Court Clarifies PCR ‘Church Motion’ Practice

by Mark Wilson

The Supreme Court of Oregon clarified, and dramatically restricted, the so-called “Church motion” practice in post-conviction relief (“PCR”) cases. 

PCR is the exclusive collateral remedy for Oregon prisoners to challenge their convictions and sentences. Indigent PCR petitioners are entitled to the appointment of counsel.  ...

California Police Privacy Laws Have Been Violating Brady for Years

by Mark Wilson

An arresting officer’s fabrication or planting of evidence or other misconduct lies at the very heart of the definition of exculpatory evidence that must be disclosed to criminal defendants under the Sixth Amendment since the 1963 landmark decision in Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 ...

Third Circuit: Summons Is Not an Arrest for USSG Criminal History Calculation

by Mark Wilson

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that the issuance of a summons to appear on a traffic stop is not an arrest for purposes of calculating criminal history under the United States Sentencing Guidelines (“USSG”). 

John Francis Ley pleaded guilty to ...

Montana Supreme Court: Retrial Following Mistrial Declared Without 
‘Manifest Necessity’ Violates Prohibition on Double Jeopardy

by Mark Wilson

The Supreme Court of Montana held that a municipal court violated state and federal double jeopardy prohibitions when it declared a mistrial and ordered a new trial.

James Joseph Huertas was charged in Billings Municipal Court with Partner or Family Member Assault (“PFMA”). The victim was identified ...

Oregon Supreme Court: ‘Grooming’ Evidence Requires Scientific Validity Foundation

by Mark Wilson

The Supreme Court of Oregon held that expert testimony about “grooming” children for subsequent sexual abuse is “scientific” evidence that may not be admitted without a foundational showing of scientific validity under Or. Evid. Code 702.

Robert Lewis Henley’s 11-year-old stepdaughter, identified as M, accused him of ...


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