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Articles by Richard Resch

Ninth Circuit Announces Expert Testimony on Battered Woman Syndrome Not Categorically Excludable, Relevant to Duress Defense

by Richard Resch

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit vacated Lashay Lopez’s three convictions on federal charges, ruling that the trial court committed prejudicial error in excluding expert testimony on Battered Woman Syndrome (“BWS”) in support of her duress defense.  

Lopez and Hector Karaca dated when ...

Ninth Circuit Announces SCOTUS’ Rodriguez Opinion Requires Overturning ‘Reasonableness Standard’ Precedent in Traffic Stop Prolongation Cases

by Richard Resch

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that police unlawfully prolonged a traffic stop in violation of the Fourth Amendment by repeatedly demanding that a passenger identify himself, absent reasonable suspicion that he committed a criminal offense, and he refused to do so.

In ...

From the Editor

by Richard Resch

Welcome to Criminal Legal News (“CLN”). We’ve been publishing CLN now for a little over a year, and the response has been tremendous. The number of people who’ve subscribed and provided positive feedback have exceeded our most optimistic projections when we first launched CLN. ...

Report: Bitemark Analysis Debunked as Pseudoscience

by Richard Resch

Unreliable bitemark identification evidence used in criminal cases has led to 31 exonerations, reports.

“The unsupported comparison of such bite marks left in human skin during rapes, murders and other violent attacks should be totally thrown out of forensic science,” says the magazine, citing a scholarly ...

Kansas Supreme Court Rules Fourth Amendment Violation Where Purported Inventory Search Was Performed in Absence of Standard Policy

by Richard Resch

The Supreme Court of Kansas held the warrantless search of defendant’s purse and wallet following a traffic accident violated her Fourth Amendment rights because the search wasn’t performed in accordance with an established departmental policy governing inventory searches and thus that exception to the warrant requirement is ...

Tenth Circuit Rules Police Seizure of Home Where No Evidence of Criminal Activity Apparent Violates Fourth Amendment Requiring Suppression of Incriminating Evidence

by Richard Resch

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit ruled that police violated the Fourth Amendment by unreasonably seizing the home of a man whose wife died of an apparent overdose on prescription medication where police had no reason to suspect that the home contained evidence of ...

Nevada Court of Appeals Rules Police May Not Conduct Warrantless Search Based on Third-Party Consent Where No Effort Made to Determine Whether Person Has Authority to Do So

by Richard Resch

The Nevada Court of Appeals ruled that law enforcement officers cannot conduct a warrantless search of a bedroom inside a shared residence by obtaining the consent of a third party without first asking about the living arrangements within the residence. The specific question at issue had not ...

Second Circuit Announces Prisoners Have First Amendment Right Not to Snitch or Provide False Information to Prison Officials

by Richard Resch

In its opinion issued on May 9, 2018, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that a prisoner has a First Amendment right not to serve as a prison informant. However, since that right was not clearly established at the time the prisoner was ...

Ninth Circuit Rules Detective’s Persistent Questioning After Invocation of Right to Counsel Entitles California Prisoner to Habeas Relief

by Richard Resch

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that a California prisoner convicted of murder is entitled to habeas relief because a detective continued to interrogate him even after he clearly and repeatedly invoked his right to counsel, and the detective’s persistent unlawful badgering eventually ...

Washington Supreme Court Announces State’s Death Penalty Is Unconstitutional

by Richard Resch

On October 11, 2018, the Supreme Court of Washington issued an opinion in which the Court struck down the state’s death penalty, announcing: “we hold that Washington’s death penalty is unconstitutional, as administered, because it is imposed in an arbitrary and racially biased manner.” The Court continued ...



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