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Articles by Matthew Clarke

California Court of Appeal: Trial Court Violated Humphrey by Setting High Bail Without Considering Financial Condition of Defendant or Nonfinancial Conditions of Release

by Matt Clarke

The Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District, held the trial court erred by setting bail at an amount it knew the defendant was unable to post and failing to consider nonfinancial conditions of release for the purpose of pretrial detention in violation of In re ...

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Announces Overruled Motion for New Trial May Be Amended With Court’s Leave Within 30-Day Period After Sentenced Imposed

by Matt Clarke

The Court of Appeals of Texas held that a motion for a new trial that has been overruled by the trial court may be amended with leave of the court within the 30-day period provided for in Rule 21.4(b) of the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure for ...

Book Review: ‘The PLRA Handbook: Law and Practice Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act’ by John Boston

by Matt Clarke

Since being signed into law by President Clinton in 1996, the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”) has become the premiere obstacle to prisoners’ obtaining relief in federal courts. Touted by proponents as a solution to the fictitious “explosion” of frivolous prisoner litigation that was “swamping” the federal ...

Hawaii Supreme Court: Due Process Violation to Exclude Evidence of Victim’s BAC in Assault Case in Which Defendant Claims Self-Defense

by Matt Clarke

The Supreme Court of Hawaii held that a trial court erred by excluding evidence of the victim’s blood alcohol concentration (“BAC”) in a first-degree assault case where the defendant claimed self-defense.

During a family gathering involving a day of drinking, Peter David and his cousin, Santhony Albert, ...

Sixth Circuit: Courts May Consider Nonretroactive Change in Law as One of Several Factors for Extraordinary and Compelling Circumstances for Compassionate Release

by Matt Clarke

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio erred when it failed to consider a change in sentencing law announced in United States v. Havis, 927 F.3d 382 (6th Cir. 2019) (“attempted” controlled ...

Connecticut Supreme Court: Trial Court Abused Discretion by Limiting Self-Represented Defendant’s Direct Examination Regarding Risk of Injury to a Child

by Matt Clarke

The Supreme Court of Connecticut held that a trial court erred when it limited the testimony of a self-represented defendant in a trial for injury to a child. The testimony at issue would have explained why the defendant felt it necessary to physically drag his daughter to ...

Colorado Supreme Court Announces Parents’ Income That’s Unavailable to Defendant Who Lives With Them Expense-Free Not Included in Indigency Determination for Court-Appointed Counsel

by Matt Clarke

In a case of first impression, the Supreme Court of Colorado announced that when calculating financial means to hire an attorney in determining whether a defendant is indigent and thus entitled to court-appointed counsel the parents’ income in a joint household is excluded from the indigency calculation ...

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 ...



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