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Criminal Legal News: June, 2022

Issue PDF
Volume 5, Number 6

In this issue:

  1. Jury Nullification: The People’s Tool Against Bad Laws and Bad Legal Actors (p 1)
  2. New RECOVER Fingerprint Technology Used to Solve 1983 Cold Case (p 13)
  3. Federal Habeas Corpus: Post-Filing Procedures in Seeking Habeas Relief (p 14)
  4. Excited Delirium—the Diagnosis That Doesn’t Exist (p 16)
  5. New York Court of Appeals: Frye Hearing Required to Determine Admissibility of DNA Evidence Generated by Proprietary Forensic Statistical Tool (p 19)
  6. Use of Controversial Phone-Cracking Tool Is Spreading Across Federal Government (p 20)
  7. California Court of Appeal: Trial Court Must Receive Parole Agency’s Written Report Before Ruling on Parole Revocation Petition for Lifetime Parolee Despite Remand to Prison Being Mandatory (p 22)
  8. Michigan Supreme Court: IAC Where Defense Counsel Failed to Request Instruction on Defense-of-Others for Nonassaultive Offense of Home Invasion, Orders New Trial (p 24)
  9. Maine Now Requires Criminal Conviction Before Property May Be Forfeited (p 26)
  10. West Virginia Supreme Court: Defendant Who Provided False Information to Detective Who Failed to Identify Himself as Police Officer Has No Duty to Cure False Statement Upon Learning Detective Is a Police Officer (p 26)
  11. Tenth Circuit: Judgment of Conviction Becomes Final for § 2255 SOL Purposes Upon Conclusion of Direct Review of Deferred Restitution (p 28)
  12. News in Brief (p 50)

Jury Nullification: The People’s Tool Against Bad Laws and Bad Legal Actors

by J.D. Schmidt

A specter is haunting the courtrooms of the United States—the specter of jury nullification. All the powers of the United States legal system have entered into an unholy alliance to exorcise this specter: judge, prosecutor, and legal scholar, “conservative” and “liberal” alike. What is jury nullification, and why do so many people in positions of power in American jurisprudence either refuse to speak of it or openly attack it?

Jury nullification is a centuries-old practice that exists in many countries. In the U.S., it is a highly contested but historically legal practice with pre-Revolutionary roots in English common law. A law is said to be “nullified” in a particular case when a jury refuses, or is unable, to apply it as written by lawmakers or described to them by prosecutors and judges. Cases in recent years involving issues from drug offenses to climate change protests and even the January 2021 riot at the Capitol have stirred up interest in, and debate over, jury nullification. 

Nullification in a Nutshell

“The judge can come outside and speak to me.” This is what Keith Eric Wood told a Mecosta County, Michigan, sheriff’s deputy who stopped him from handing out a ...

New RECOVER Fingerprint Technology Used to Solve 1983 Cold Case

by Casey J. Bastian

Forensic technologies are constantly being innovated in an ongoing effort to correctly solve crimes and create a better justice system. Identifying the correct suspect is vital to administering true justice. The sole detective in the recently created Delray Beach Police Department’s (“DBPD”) Cold Case Unit (“CCU”) ...

Federal Habeas Corpus: Post-Filing Procedures in Seeking Habeas Relief

by Dale Chappell

After you’ve filed your petition for habeas relief in federal court, you may decide to take further actions, such as filing a motion to “stay” your proceedings, to appoint counsel, or to release you on bond pending the outcome of your habeas case. Much of the authority ...

Excited Delirium—the Diagnosis That Doesn’t Exist

How a racialized, gendered theory became the go-to defense for police officers who kill people in custody

by Brooke Kaufman

The term “excited delirium,” or agitated delirium, first entered legal discourse in the 1980s. Dr. Charles Wetli and Dr. David Fishbain used the theory to explain the sudden deaths of ...

New York Court of Appeals: Frye Hearing Required to Determine Admissibility of DNA Evidence Generated by Proprietary Forensic Statistical Tool

by Douglas Ankney

The Court of Appeals of New York reversed an order of the Appellate Division that had affirmed a trial court’s order denying a hearing requested pursuant to Frye v. United States, 293 F. 1013 (D.C. Cir. 1923), and the Court remitted to the trial court to ...

Use of Controversial Phone-Cracking Tool Is Spreading Across Federal Government

Cellebrite’s extensive federal sales come as another Israeli phone-spying firm, NSO Group, falls under federal sanctions.

by Mara Hvistendahl, Sam Biddle, The Intercept

Investigators with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service frequently work to thwart a variety of environmental offenses, from illegal deforestation to hunting without a license. While these are real ...

California Court of Appeal: Trial Court Must Receive Parole Agency’s Written Report Before Ruling on Parole Revocation Petition for Lifetime Parolee Despite Remand to Prison Being Mandatory

by Douglas Ankney

The Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, held that Penal Code § 1203.2(b)(1) requires trial courts to receive a parole agency’s written report before ruling on a parole revocation petition and that there is no exception for a petition filed against a lifetime parolee.

Jerry Denton Williams, ...

Michigan Supreme Court: IAC Where Defense Counsel Failed to Request Instruction on Defense-of-Others for Nonassaultive Offense of Home Invasion, Orders New Trial

by David M. Reutter

The Supreme Court of Michigan held that defense counsel was ineffective for failing to request a defense-of-others jury instruction for defendants who were on trial for home invasion and felonious assault.  

Jeremiah and Micheline Leffew moved to Michigan in September 2017 and moved in with Jeremiah’s ...

Maine Now Requires Criminal Conviction Before Property May Be Forfeited

by Douglas Ankney

Maine passed LD 1521 without the governor’s signature to become the fourth state in the nation to abolish civil asset forfeiture, requiring instead a criminal conviction before property may be forfeited. The law took effect July 13, 2021. “It’s a very simple concept; you don’t lose your ...

West Virginia Supreme Court: Defendant Who Provided False Information to Detective Who Failed to Identify Himself as Police Officer Has No Duty to Cure False Statement Upon Learning Detective Is a Police Officer

by Douglas Ankney

The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia ruled that a person who provided false information to a detective who failed to identify himself as a police officer had no duty under City of Martinsburg Municipal Code § 509.05 (“§ 509.05”) to cure the prior false statement ...

Tenth Circuit: Judgment of Conviction Becomes Final for § 2255 SOL Purposes Upon Conclusion of Direct Review of Deferred Restitution

Answering an open question, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held that a judgment becomes final for purposes of 28 U.S.C. § 2255’s statute of limitations upon conclusion of direct review of the deferred restitution judgment.

On October 26, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Western ...

News in Brief

Connecticut: On Apr. 15, 2022, a Norwalk police officer of 10 years was arrested of assaulting a family member. WVIT, a news channel serving New Britain, reports that officer Jermaine Nash, 44, was arrested after a call was made to police in the mid-afternoon of the 15th. ...

 

 

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