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Articles by Matthew Clarke

Ending Eyewitness Memory Contamination

Memory-Expert Psychologists Recommend Stopping All In-Court Identification and Repeated Lineups

by Matt Clarke

The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle is a scientific concept in quantum physics explaining that the position and velocity of a sub-atomic particle can never be truly known because the very act of measuring those quantities changes them. Now ...

Vermont Supreme Court Announces Rule 12.1 Doesn’t Require Notice of Diminished Capacity Defense When Expert Testimony Won’t Be Used

by Matt Clarke

The Supreme Court of Vermont held that a trial court erred when it prohibited a defendant from raising the defense of diminished capacity, without relying on any expert witnesses, because she failed to give notice of intent to use that defense. In refusing to consider a diminished ...

Ninth Circuit Announces Irizarry Didn’t Eliminate Wise Requirement That Sentencing Court Provide Notice of Special Conditions of Supervised Release Prior to Imposing Sentence

by Matt Clarke

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California erred in failing to provide advance notice of a special condition of supervised release that wasn’t listed in the mandatory or discretionary conditions in the Sentencing ...

Eighth Circuit: Inadmissible Hearsay Improperly Used to Revoke Supervised Release

by Matt Clarke 

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit held that the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri erroneously relied on inadmissible hearsay to revoke a federal defendant’s supervised release. The Court vacated the revocation of sentence and remanded for resentencing on a closed ...

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Announces Framework for Determining Whether State of Mind Exception to Hearsay Rule Applies to Out-of-Court Statements, Dual-Purpose Statements Generally Inadmissible

by Matt Clarke

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania held that a note implicating the husband of a woman who was drowned the day after she wrote it was inadmissible hearsay, after it had announced a new analytical framework for determining whether the state of mind exception to the hearsay rule ...

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Announces Impacted Third Party Has Right to Appeal Motion Granting Postconviction DNA Testing

by Matt Clarke

The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruled that a third party who is ordered to provide biological materials pursuant to G. L. c. 278A has a right to appeal such order even where the party hasn’t intervened in the case.

After an evening of drinking at his ...

Fifth Circuit: Texas Police Get Qualified Immunity for Knowingly Using Taser to Ignite Gasoline-Soaked, Suicidal Man, Killing Him and Destroying Family’s House

by Matt Clarke

On June 25, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit refused to re-visit its decision that Texas police officers who used a Taser on a suicidal man who had drenched himself in gasoline knowing it could ignite him were entitled to qualified immunity. Ramirez ...

The Real Minority Report Predictive Policing Algorithms Reflect Racial Bias Present in Corrupted Historic Databases

by Matt Clarke

In Steven Spielberg’s science fiction movie, Minority Report, police armed with nebulously sourced predictions of people who are supposedly going to commit murder before they can actually do so. Troublingly, only a few years after the film’s 2002 release, a real-world version of predictive policing was ...

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 United States 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 ...



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