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Criminal Legal News: April, 2021

Issue PDF
Volume 4, Number 4

In this issue:

  1. Faulty Forensics and Wrongful Convictions (p 1)
  2. Seventh Circuit Affirms Vacatur of Death Sentence Based on Newly Discovered Evidence of Defendant’s Intellectual Disability (p 10)
  3. Machinery of Death: When the Government Acts as Judge, Jury and Executioner (p 12)
  4. Seventh Circuit: Indiana’s Sex Offender Registration Act’s ‘Other Jurisdiction Requirement’ Unconstitutional Violation of Right to Travel (p 14)
  5. Ohio Supreme Court: Retroactive Application of Sexually Violent Predator Law Violates Ex Post Facto Clause (p 15)
  6. Alabama Supreme Court Announces Testimony About Cell-Site Location Data Is ‘Scientific’ Expert Testimony, Not Lay, Triggering Daubert Analysis (p 16)
  7. Maryland Court of Appeals: MTA’s Fare Sweep Constitutes Suspicionless Seizure in Violation of Fourth Amendment (p 18)
  8. North Carolina Supreme Court: Judge May Not Reject Informed Guilty Plea Because Defendant Refuses to Admit He’s Factually Guilty (p 19)
  9. How the Criminal Justice System Fails People With Mental Illness (p 20)
  10. Third Circuit: Brady Claims in Habeas Petitions Timely When Filed Within One Year of Date Reason to Believe Prosecutor Violated Duty To Disclose (p 24)
  11. Pennsylvania Supreme Court Announces Departure From SCOTUS’ Vehicle Exception to Warrant Requirement, Commonwealth’s Constitution Provides Greater Protections (p 26)
  12. California Court of Appeal: Lack of Notice of Filing Deadline Due Process Violation, Allowing Late Challenge to Erroneous Parole Designation (p 27)
  13. Ninth Circuit Announces Un-Mirandized Statement Used in Criminal Proceeding Violates Fifth Amendment and Supports § 1983 Claim (p 28)
  14. Massachusetts Supreme Court Announces ‘Habitual Offender’ Statute Allows for Sentence of Probation Only (p 30)
  15. Hawai’i Supreme Court Announces Clarification of When Self-Induced Intoxication Exception of HRS § 702-230 Applies (p 31)
  16. STAR Program Redirecting Mental Health Emergency Calls Away From Police a Success in Denver (p 32)
  17. Kentucky Supreme Court Announces Appellate Standard of Review for Domestic Abuse Exemption to Violent Offender Parole Eligibility (p 32)
  18. Fifth Circuit: Evidence of Simple Drug Possession Insufficient to Search Cellphone Photos for Evidence of Drug Trafficking (p 33)
  19. New Drone Tech Being Deployed by Police (p 34)
  20. California Supreme Court Announces SB 1437 Bars Second-Degree Murder Based on Natural and Probable Consequences Doctrine (p 34)
  21. Pennsylvania Supreme Court: Officer Testified as Expert on Child Sexual Abuse Without First Being Qualified and 42 Pa.C.S. § 5920 Overruled Dunkle (p 35)
  22. "Kentucky Supreme Court: Hearing on Defense Counsel’s Fitness Is Critical Stage at Which Defendant Has Right to Be Present With Conflict-Free Counsel" (p 36)
  23. D.C. Circuit: Differing Counsel Effectiveness Findings Create Possible Injustice in Wired Plea Offer (p 37)
  24. Second Circuit: Jury Instructions Regarding Defendant’s Motive to Testify Falsely Improper (p 38)
  25. California Court of Appeal Overturns Child Sex Abuse Convictions Based on Prosecution’s Violation of Brady Obligations by Withholding Witness Impeachment Evidence (p 38)
  26. Fourth Circuit: Conditions of Release Banning Internet Access and Legal Pornography Overbroad and Not Reasonably Related (p 39)
  27. Kentucky Supreme Court Reverses Murder Convictions Due to ‘Flagrant Prosecutorial Misconduct’ in Misleading Jury (p 40)
  28. Capitol Police Department Repeatedly Sued Over Racial Discrimination (p 41)
  29. Hundreds Serving Life Due to Less Than Unanimous Jury Verdicts (p 42)
  30. Nevada Supreme Court Reverses Conviction for Murdering Sixth Wife Due to Improper Prior Bad-Act Evidence Regarding Murder of Second Wife (p 42)
  31. Washington Supreme Court Announces Misconduct of Petitioner’s Own Counsel Can Be Basis for Equitable Tolling in Habeas Proceeding (p 43)
  32. Hidden Sentences (p 44)
  33. Law Degree for South Carolina Magistrates Optional (p 45)
  34. Policing Prostitution in New York (p 46)
  35. Tech Company Enables Total Surveillance (p 46)
  36. Image of Men Urinating on Grave Protected by First Amendment (p 47)
  37. Philadelphia Man Exonerated After Police Cover-Up Exposed (p 48)
  38. Shifting View of Criminal Justice in U.S. (p 48)
  39. Man Serving 505-Year Sentence Granted Compassionate Release Due to COVID-19 (p 49)
  40. New Jersey Man Wrongly Arrested Due to Flawed Face Recognition Match (p 49)
  41. Police Robo Stalkers in a Location Near You (p 50)
  42. News in Brief (p 50)

Faulty Forensics and Wrongful Convictions

The Innocence Project, a national litigation ...

Seventh Circuit Affirms Vacatur of Death Sentence Based on Newly Discovered Evidence of Defendant’s Intellectual Disability

In 1998, the U. ...

Machinery of Death: When the Government Acts as Judge, Jury and Executioner

“Police fail to grasp that they are public servants for peace. They should provide a civil service, to enforce the laws equally, without bias and with discretion. They must understand that they do not have immunity or special ...

Seventh Circuit: Indiana’s Sex Offender Registration Act’s ‘Other Jurisdiction Requirement’ Unconstitutional Violation of Right to Travel

Ohio Supreme Court: Retroactive Application of Sexually Violent Predator Law Violates Ex Post Facto Clause

In 2017, Albert Townsend was indicted on numerous ...

Alabama Supreme Court Announces Testimony About Cell-Site Location Data Is ‘Scientific’ Expert Testimony, Not Lay, Triggering Daubert Analysis

by Anthony Accurso

In its January 8, 2021, opinion, the Supreme Court of Alabama held that a law enforcement agent’s testimony about how historical cell-site data could be used to determine the approximate location of the defendants’ cellphones is scientific testimony, and as such, it must be properly assessed for ...

Maryland Court of Appeals: MTA’s Fare Sweep Constitutes Suspicionless Seizure in Violation of Fourth Amendment

Carter was on ...

North Carolina Supreme Court: Judge May Not Reject Informed Guilty Plea Because Defendant Refuses to Admit He’s Factually Guilty

The Court’s December 18, 2020, opinion was issued in an appeal brought by Kenneth C. ...

How the Criminal Justice System Fails People With Mental Illness

“I found your baby,” Michelle Durden recalls the police officer saying after her son went missing. “He’s alive. And he’s in jail.”

At first, Michelle Durden thought her eldest son, Cameron Davis, was just going through some early 20s growing pains. He dropped out of ...

Third Circuit: Brady Claims in Habeas Petitions Timely When Filed Within One Year of Date Reason to Believe Prosecutor Violated Duty To Disclose

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Announces Departure From SCOTUS’ Vehicle Exception to Warrant Requirement, Commonwealth’s Constitution Provides Greater Protections

California Court of Appeal: Lack of Notice of Filing Deadline Due Process Violation, Allowing Late Challenge to Erroneous Parole Designation

The error occurred when Bryant Ruiz was released from prison and the California Department of Corrections and ...

Ninth Circuit Announces Un-Mirandized Statement Used in Criminal Proceeding Violates Fifth Amendment and Supports § 1983 Claim

Terence Tekoh gave a written statement ...

Massachusetts Supreme Court Announces ‘Habitual Offender’ Statute Allows for Sentence of Probation Only

Hawai’i Supreme Court Announces Clarification of When Self-Induced Intoxication Exception of HRS § 702-230 Applies

The Supreme Court of Hawai’i (SCH) held that a trial court erred when it ruled that the HRS § 702-230(1) prohibition against self-induced intoxication as a defense barred a defendant from raising the defense of amphetamine psychosis resulting in a lack of criminal responsibility even though he ...

STAR Program Redirecting Mental Health Emergency Calls Away From Police a Success in Denver

Kentucky Supreme Court Announces Appellate Standard of Review for Domestic Abuse Exemption to Violent Offender Parole Eligibility

The Supreme Court of Kentucky clarified the meaning of the statute that allows a defendant to be eligible for parole after serving 20% of their sentence despite committing a violent crime resulting in death.

Michael Wayne Crowe rented a hotel room with his wife Felicia Walker on ...

Fifth Circuit: Evidence of Simple Drug Possession Insufficient to Search Cellphone Photos for Evidence of Drug Trafficking

Bryan Matthew Morton was ...

New Drone Tech Being Deployed by Police

Chula Vista, a city of approximately 50 square miles between San Diego and ...

California Supreme Court Announces SB 1437 Bars Second-Degree Murder Based on Natural and Probable Consequences Doctrine

Pennsylvania Supreme Court: Officer Testified as Expert on Child Sexual Abuse Without First Being Qualified and 42 Pa.C.S. § 5920 Overruled Dunkle

"Kentucky Supreme Court: Hearing on Defense Counsel’s Fitness Is Critical Stage at Which Defendant Has Right to Be Present With Conflict-Free Counsel"

Terrence Downs was tried on numerous felonies, including murder, for the ...

D.C. Circuit: Differing Counsel Effectiveness Findings Create Possible Injustice in Wired Plea Offer

In the case under review, the District ...

Second Circuit: Jury Instructions Regarding Defendant’s Motive to Testify Falsely Improper

Juan Solano was arrested after transporting a ...

California Court of Appeal Overturns Child Sex Abuse Convictions Based on Prosecution’s Violation of Brady Obligations by Withholding Witness Impeachment Evidence

Fourth Circuit: Conditions of Release Banning Internet Access and Legal Pornography Overbroad and Not Reasonably Related

Kentucky Supreme Court Reverses Murder Convictions Due to ‘Flagrant Prosecutorial Misconduct’ in Misleading Jury

Capitol Police Department Repeatedly Sued Over Racial Discrimination

Hundreds Serving Life Due to Less Than Unanimous Jury Verdicts

Nevada Supreme Court Reverses Conviction for Murdering Sixth Wife Due to Improper Prior Bad-Act Evidence Regarding Murder of Second Wife

Randolph told police he shot and ...

Washington Supreme Court Announces Misconduct of Petitioner’s Own Counsel Can Be Basis for Equitable Tolling in Habeas Proceeding

Hidden Sentences

Law Degree for South Carolina Magistrates Optional

Policing Prostitution in New York

A 2020 investigation by journalists at ProPublica, a nonprofit news organization, revealed that New York Police Department (“NYPD”) vice operations routinely target ...

Tech Company Enables Total Surveillance

Image of Men Urinating on Grave Protected by First Amendment

Philadelphia Man Exonerated After Police Cover-Up Exposed

Hicks was in South Philadelphia on the early ...

Shifting View of Criminal Justice in U.S.

Man Serving 505-Year Sentence Granted Compassionate Release Due to COVID-19

A 73-year-old man serving a 505-year sentence in federal prison without parole was granted compassionate release by his sentencing judge in November 2020, citing the risk of death from COVID-19 as the reason he should be at home and not in prison.

Juan Carlos Seresi was sentenced in 1991 after ...

New Jersey Man Wrongly Arrested Due to Flawed Face Recognition Match

Nijeer Parks, 33, had two previous convictions for selling drugs and had served six years in prison. But he turned his life ...

Police Robo Stalkers in a Location Near You

News in Brief

California: A federal jury awarded a man who suffered severe head and face injuries in an encounter with a San Diego detective $1.5 million in November 2020. San Diego’s City Council, meanwhile, is expected to “approve a $2.5 million settlement, the money awarded by the jury and nearly $1 million ...

 

 

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