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Criminal Legal News: August, 2021

Issue PDF
Volume 4, Number 8

In this issue:

  1. Reevaluating Capital Punishment and Psychosis: How Sane Must We Be to Qualify for Execution? (p 1)
  2. Virginia Prosecutors to Dismiss 400 Drug Convictions Tied to Disgraced Cop (p 8)
  3. Drivers Beware: The Deadly Perils of Blank Check Traffic Stops (p 10)
  4. U.S. District Court Grants Compassionate Release Based Entirely on Nearly Three-Decade-Old Sentencing Error, Reduces Life Sentence (p 12)
  5. Decades of Data Link Juvenile Lead Exposure and Criminal Behavior (p 14)
  6. New Jersey Governor Celebrates Juneteenth by Signing ‘Ban the Box’ Into Law (p 17)
  7. Fourth Circuit: Appeal Waiver Does Not Bar Challenge to Special Conditions Not Orally Pronounced in Open Court (p 17)
  8. Connecticut Supreme Court: Use of Jailhouse Informant Violated Sixth Amendment Right to Counsel (p 18)
  9. Crime, the Myth (p 20)
  10. Physics Offers New Perspective on Blood Spatter Investigations (p 21)
  11. Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Clarifies Interpretation of Aggravating Provisions of Section 22.01(b)(2)(A) and (B), Charging One Provision at Guilt Phase Doesn’t Confer Jurisdiction to Argue Other Provision at Sentencing Phase (p 22)
  12. Ninth Circuit Affirms Denial of Qualified Immunity to Officers Who Coerced 13-Year-Old to Falsely Confess to Murder (p 22)
  13. Simple Training Can Prevent Police From Mistaking Gun for Taser (p 24)
  14. Seventh Circuit Holds Hobbs Act Robbery Not ‘Crime of Violence’ for Career Offender Enhancement, Likely IAC for Not Anticipating Outcome (p 24)
  15. SCOTUS Holds LWOP for Juveniles Does Not Require Finding of Incorrigibility (p 26)
  16. Maryland Court of Appeals: Erroneous Anti-CSI Jury Instruction Was Not Harmless Error (p 27)
  17. Fourth Circuit Announces First Step Act Determinations Subject to Procedural and Reasonableness Requirements (p 28)
  18. Michigan Supreme Court: Anonymous Tip Alleging Woman Was Driving Drunk Because She Yelled at Her Children Failed to Provide Reasonable Suspicion for Terry Stop (p 29)
  19. SCOTUS Announces ACCA ‘Violent Felony’ Requires Knowing Use of Force, Not Mere Reckless Conduct (p 30)
  20. Eighth Circuit Suppresses Evidence, Ruling Plain View Exception Inapplicable (p 31)
  21. Is 743 Years Imprisonment Enough Time to Teach Someone A Lesson? (p 32)
  22. Ninth Circuit Clarifies Montana Supreme Court’s Sentence Review Division Is Not an ‘Appeal’ Triggering Habeas Clock (p 33)
  23. Kansas Supreme Court Affirms Dismissal of Convictions After State Fails to Preserve Issue for Appeal (p 33)
  24. New York City Ends Qualified Immunity for Police (p 34)
  25. Pennsylvania Supreme Court Clarifies Standard for Admission of Evidence of Third Party Guilt (p 34)
  26. D.C. Circuit: Ambiguous Plea Agreement Requires Interpretation in Favor of Defendant (p 35)
  27. Sixth Circuit: First Step Act Amendments to § 924(c) Inapplicable to Defendant Sentenced Before Act’s Effective Date Even When Sentence Later Vacated (p 36)
  28. Ninth Circuit: Oregon’s UUW Statute Improperly Assimilated Under Federal Assimilative Crimes Act (p 37)
  29. Pennsylvania Supreme Court Frees Bill Cosby (p 38)
  30. "Arizona Supreme Court Announces ‘Reasonable Possibility’ Standard in Balancing Right to Present Complete Defense Against Victim’s Refusal to Disclose Privileged Medical Records" (p 40)
  31. A New Age of Video Analytics (p 41)
  32. D.C. Circuit: Counsel’s Failure to Object to District Court’s Reliance Upon Wrong Sentencing Guideline Constitutes Ineffective Assistance (p 42)
  33. Wisconsin Supreme Court: Department of Corrections Database on Sex Offenders Evaluated for Civil Commitment Discoverable in Civil Commitment Proceeding (p 42)
  34. Illinois Supreme Court: State Failed to Prove Constructive Possession of Firearm (p 43)
  35. Pennsylvania Supreme Court: Single Conviction for Non-Enumerated Crime of Violence Does Not Qualify as History of Violent Behavior Under RRRI Act (p 44)
  36. Unjust Civil Asset Forfeiture in Phenix City, Alabama (p 45)
  37. Florida Police Accused of Misconduct Given Second Chances (p 46)
  38. The Vallejo Cop Controversy: Whistleblowers Expose a Secret Club of Killers (p 47)
  39. Fusion Technology Enables Vast Police Surveillance (p 48)
  40. Building Data on Police Conduct (p 49)
  41. Domestic Terrorism Laws and Civil Liberties (p 49)
  42. Report: Encryption No Barrier to Feds (p 50)
  43. News in Brief (p 50)

Reevaluating Capital Punishment and Psychosis: How Sane Must We Be to Qualify for Execution?

by Michael Fortino, Ph.D.

You have been assigned to be a juror in each of the following cases, and your responsibility is to decide which of these guilty suspects is sane enough to qualify for the death penalty and which may be suffering from a mental health impairment that will ...

Virginia Prosecutors to Dismiss 400 Drug Convictions Tied to Disgraced Cop

Drivers Beware: The Deadly Perils of Blank Check Traffic Stops

“The Fourth Amendment was designed to stand between us and arbitrary governmental authority. For all practical purposes, that shield has been shattered, leaving our liberty and personal integrity subject to the whim of every cop on the beat, trooper on the highway and jail official. The framers would be appalled.”—Herman ...

U.S. District Court Grants Compassionate Release Based Entirely on Nearly Three-Decade-Old Sentencing Error, Reduces Life Sentence

Decades of Data Link Juvenile Lead Exposure and Criminal Behavior

New Jersey Governor Celebrates Juneteenth by Signing ‘Ban the Box’ Into Law

Called the “Ban the Box” law by advocates, the FCHA ...

Fourth Circuit: Appeal Waiver Does Not Bar Challenge to Special Conditions Not Orally Pronounced in Open Court

by Dale Chappell

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that a challenge to non-mandatory conditions of supervised release that were not orally pronounced in open court with the defendant present is not barred by an appeal waiver in a plea agreement.

When the U.S. District Court ...

Connecticut Supreme Court: Use of Jailhouse Informant Violated Sixth Amendment Right to Counsel

Crime, the Myth

It’s up to society to say what is and isn’t a crime, and it varies more than one might think.

by Emile DeWeaver, Brennan Center

Crime is not real. This assertion flies in the face of common sense and consensus. Of course crime is real, one would be justified in ...

Physics Offers New Perspective on Blood Spatter Investigations

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Clarifies Interpretation of Aggravating Provisions of Section 22.01(b)(2)(A) and (B), Charging One Provision at Guilt Phase Doesn’t Confer Jurisdiction to Argue Other Provision at Sentencing Phase

The Court’s opinion was issued in response to a petition for discretionary review filed by the State. The review ...

Ninth Circuit Affirms Denial of Qualified Immunity to Officers Who Coerced 13-Year-Old to Falsely Confess to Murder

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California’s denial of qualified immunity with respect to officers who coerced a 13-year-old boy to falsely confess to a murder.

A security ...

Simple Training Can Prevent Police From Mistaking Gun for Taser

Seventh Circuit Holds Hobbs Act Robbery Not ‘Crime of Violence’ for Career Offender Enhancement, Likely IAC for Not Anticipating Outcome

SCOTUS Holds LWOP for Juveniles Does Not Require Finding of Incorrigibility

Maryland Court of Appeals: Erroneous Anti-CSI Jury Instruction Was Not Harmless Error

A female college student looked out the door of her apartment and saw a man on ...

Fourth Circuit Announces First Step Act Determinations Subject to Procedural and Reasonableness Requirements

Michigan Supreme Court: Anonymous Tip Alleging Woman Was Driving Drunk Because She Yelled at Her Children Failed to Provide Reasonable Suspicion for Terry Stop

SCOTUS Announces ACCA ‘Violent Felony’ Requires Knowing Use of Force, Not Mere Reckless Conduct

Eighth Circuit Suppresses Evidence, Ruling Plain View Exception Inapplicable

The Court’s opinion was filed in an appeal brought by the federal Government. ...

Is 743 Years Imprisonment Enough Time to Teach Someone A Lesson?

Ninth Circuit Clarifies Montana Supreme Court’s Sentence Review Division Is Not an ‘Appeal’ Triggering Habeas Clock

Kansas Supreme Court Affirms Dismissal of Convictions After State Fails to Preserve Issue for Appeal

After Emmanuel Ellie ...

New York City Ends Qualified Immunity for Police

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Clarifies Standard for Admission of Evidence of Third Party Guilt

Officer Jeffrey Ference ...

D.C. Circuit: Ambiguous Plea Agreement Requires Interpretation in Favor of Defendant

Sixth Circuit: First Step Act Amendments to § 924(c) Inapplicable to Defendant Sentenced Before Act’s Effective Date Even When Sentence Later Vacated

Ninth Circuit: Oregon’s UUW Statute Improperly Assimilated Under Federal Assimilative Crimes Act

Do was a passenger ...

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Frees Bill Cosby

Introduction

The criticism and outrage at the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s June 30, 2021, decision to vacate Bill Cosby’s convictions, order his immediate release, and bar any retrial are largely ill-informed or just plain misguided. Those decrying the fact that Cosby got released on a so-called “technicality” apparently ...

"Arizona Supreme Court Announces ‘Reasonable Possibility’ Standard in Balancing Right to Present Complete Defense Against Victim’s Refusal to Disclose Privileged Medical Records"

A New Age of Video Analytics

Video footage from security cameras is common fare in a variety of modern movies and television shows, but depictions in popular culture rarely offer an accurate portrayal of the state of surveillance technology or the way police or other security personnel utilize it. Gone are the days ...

D.C. Circuit: Counsel’s Failure to Object to District Court’s Reliance Upon Wrong Sentencing Guideline Constitutes Ineffective Assistance

Rashaun Parks pleaded ...

Wisconsin Supreme Court: Department of Corrections Database on Sex Offenders Evaluated for Civil Commitment Discoverable in Civil Commitment Proceeding

In 2016, the State petitioned a circuit court to commit Anthony ...

Illinois Supreme Court: State Failed to Prove Constructive Possession of Firearm

In June 2015, a police officer pulled over a van being driven by Charles Wise. He admitted to speeding, ...

Pennsylvania Supreme Court: Single Conviction for Non-Enumerated Crime of Violence Does Not Qualify as History of Violent Behavior Under RRRI Act

Unjust Civil Asset Forfeiture in Phenix City, Alabama

Florida Police Accused of Misconduct Given Second Chances

The Vallejo Cop Controversy: Whistleblowers Expose a Secret Club of Killers

According to an independent report of an incident ...

Fusion Technology Enables Vast Police Surveillance

Building Data on Police Conduct

Domestic Terrorism Laws and Civil Liberties

Report: Encryption No Barrier to Feds

News in Brief

California: Two San Diego Police Department (SDPD) officers repeatedly punched a homeless Black man they were arresting on May 12, 2021, after they allegedly caught him attempting to urinate in public. According to a report by the Washington Post, the incident was captured on a cellphone video recording made by ...

 

 

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