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Articles by Matthew Clarke

Ohio Supreme Court Holds Termination of Community Control Is Final Discharge for Purposes of Sealing Records and Terminates Unsatisfied Condition to Pay Child-Support Arrearages

by Matthew Thomas Clarke

The Supreme Court of Ohio held termination of nonresidential community control (“NCC”) is a “final discharge” within the meaning of R.C. 2953.32, permitting eligibility to apply to seal the record of a conviction three years after a felon receives final discharge even if some of the ...

Missouri Supreme Court: Use of Out-of-Court Statement Admitted at Trial Exceeded Limited Purpose of Exception to Rule Against Hearsay Upon Which It Was Admitted

by Matt Clarke

The Supreme Court of Missouri, sitting en banc, held that the trial court committed prejudicial error by allowing a police detective to testify at trial regarding an out-of-court statement made to police by a person who did not testify at trial to prove the matter asserted ...

Attorney General Garland Orders Federal Prosecutors to End Sentencing Disparities Between Crack and Powder Cocaine

by Matt Clarke

On December 16, 2022, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a memorandum to all federal prosecutors instructing them to seek to have defendants charged with drug offenses involving crack cocaine charged such that the sentence would be the same as if it involved powder cocaine, unless the ...

California Court of Appeal: Trial Court’s Denial of Faretta Request Without Finding of ‘Severe Mental Illness’ Denied Defendant Sixth Amendment Right to Self-Representation

by Matt Clarke

The Court of Appeal of California, Fourth Appellate District, reversed a conviction for assault on a peace officer by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury in violation of Penal Code § 245(c) after finding that the trial court erred in denying the defendant’s request ...

Ninth Circuit: No Qualified Immunity for Detective Who Arrested Anti-Police-Slogan Sidewalk Chalkers, but Not Other Chalkers Whose Content Wasn’t Anti-Police, Even Though There Was Probable Cause to Arrest

by Matt Clarke

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that a Las Vegas, Nevada, police detective was not entitled to qualified immunity for arresting sidewalk chalkers who had chalked anti-police slogans, when he did not arrest other chalkers whose themes were not anti-police, even though he ...

Sixth Circuit: Unarmed Bank Robber Who Ordered Tellers to Get on the Floor Not Subject to Enhancement for Physical Restraint

by Matt Clarke

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that the sentence of a convicted bank robber who did not have a gun, did not touch, bind, tie up, or lock up bank employees and did not tell them to move to another location could not ...

Fifth Circuit Announces Louisiana Aggravated Assault With Firearm Still Not ‘Crime of Violence’ After 2012 Amendment for Purposes of Sentencing Guidelines

by Matt Clarke

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that a prior conviction for aggravated assault with a firearm under Louisiana state law, La. R.S. 14:37.4 is not categorically a “crime of violence” as defined by U.S. Sentencing Guidelines § 4B1.2(a) and therefore could not be ...

Washington Supreme Court Clarifies Burden of Production Standard for Entrapment to Be Entitled to Jury Instruction

by Matt Clarke

The Supreme Court of Washington held that a trial court erred when it refused to permit an attempted child rape defendant to introduce evidence of his lack of a criminal history to support his claim of lack of propensity to commit the crime and denied his requested ...

California Court of Appeal Announces Term ‘Actual Killer’ in Revised Felony-Murder Statute Refers to Person Who ‘Personally Killed’ Victim, Not Necessarily Same as Person Who ‘Caused’ Death, for Resentencing Purposes Under § 1170.95

by Matt Clarke

The Court of Appeal of California, Fourth Appellate District, held that the term “actual killer” as used in California Penal Code§ 189(e)(l) — as revised by Senate Bill 1437, which amended the felony-murder rule and natural and probable cause doctrine — means the person who “personally killed ...

Drug Detection Dogs Are Unreliable and Reflect the Vicious Heritage of Their Slave-Hunting Dog and Police-Dog Predecessors

by Matt Clarke
LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS OFTEN deploy trained dogs to detect drugs, but how accurate are the canine sniffs? Since the dog cannot testify, the courts have simply accepted that a certified drug dog is sufficient to provide probable cause for a search when the dog alerts its handlers, ...



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