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Articles by Matthew Clarke

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court: Withholding Exculpatory Statement Change by Key Witness Constitutes Brady Violation, Requiring New Trial

by Matt Clarke

The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts held that the prosecution in a first-degree murder (extreme atrocity or cruelty) trial failed to disclose material, exculpatory evidence that a key witness had changed her testimony to include visceral depictions of the victim’s dying last words and the defendant’s reaction, ...

North Dakota Supreme Court Holds Attempted Knowing Murder Is Non-Cognizable

by Matt Clarke

The Supreme Court of North Dakota reversed the denial of a motion for postconviction relief challenging a conviction for attempted knowing murder after holding it was a non-cognizable offense.

Lorenzo Pemberton was staying at a woman’s home. During an argument, she called 911. He knocked the phone ...

Mississippi Supreme Court: Failure to Timely File Motion to Suppress Confession Obtained as Result of Police Threats and Promises Constitutes Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

by Matt Clarke

The Supreme Court of Mississippi held that a defendant’s trial counsel was ineffective for failing to timely object to the introduction of a video recording of her client’s confession, which showed police officers making threats and promises to the defendant in order to elicit the confession.

A ...

California Supreme Court Announces Predicate Offenses for Gang Enhancement or Gang Participation Not Provable Using Expert Witness Testimony Without Personal Knowledge of Facts

by Matt Clarke

The Supreme Court of California held that, for charges of gang participation and gang enhancements under California Penal Code, § subdivisions (a)and (b), respectively, which require the State to prove that gang members had previously committed two or more enumerated offenses (predicate offenses), the State may not ...

SCOTUS Reinstates Death Sentence Reversed by Eleventh Circuit

by Matt Clarke

The Supreme Court of the U.S. reinstated the death sentence of an Alabama man who had been convicted of murder. The Eleventh Circuit had reversed, in part, the conviction based on the incorrect claim that Alabama had established a categorical rule requiring post-conviction habeas corpus applicants claiming ...

Study Finds Interactive Lineup Improves Accuracy of Eyewitness Identification, But Does It Also Increase Likelihood of False Identifications?

A team of researchers at the University of Birmingham’s School of Psychology in the U.K. developed interactive lineup software that allows witnesses to view lineup photographs from different angles. They tested the software to see if it improved eyewitness identification and concluded that it may improve identification accuracy. They also discovered ...

Nebraska Supreme Court Reverses Denial of Pretrial Motion for Absolute Discharge on Speedy Trial Grounds

The Supreme Court of Nebraska reversed a lower court’s denial of a criminal defendant’s motion for absolute discharge based on statutory speedy trial grounds.

A complaint was filed against Douglas P. Jennings in the county court for Douglas County, Nebraska, charging him with Class I misdemeanor stalking of his former ...

National Institute of Justice Funds Research to Differentiate Injuries Caused by Child Abuse from Accidental Injuries

Child abuse is the leading cause of trauma-related deaths in children. In 2017, around 3.5 million children were referred to social services due to reports of abuse and neglect; 1,720 of them died. Over 70% of those who died were not yet 3 years old. Yet physicians ...

California Court of Appeal Reverses Felony-Murder Conviction Where Sentencing Occurred After SB 1437 Enacted

The Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District, Division Eight, held that a felony-murder conviction was invalid when guilt was determined prior to the enactment of Senate Bill 1437 (“SB 1437”), which was passed in the 2017-2018 regular session of the Legislature, but sentencing occurred after ...

Reports Show Law Enforcement Groups Are Main Force Pushing New Anti-Protest Laws

Two recent reports by the Proteus Fund and Greenpeace show that organizations associated with law enforcement—mostly police unions—are the main drivers of the unprecedented number of new anti-protest bills introduced in state legislatures in 2021.

When Connor Gibson undertook research for the Proteus Fund to see which ...



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