Skip navigation
CLN bookstore

Criminal Legal News: April, 2023

Issue PDF
Volume 6, Number 4

In this issue:

  1. The Power of the Prosecutor in America: Abuse, Misconduct, Unaccountability, and Miscarriages of Justice (p 1)
  2. Massachusetts Supreme Court: Probationer’s Due Process Right to Present a Defense Violated Where Denied Opportunity to Call Complainant Who Alleged Sexual Assault as a Witness During Probation Revocation Hearing (p 16)
  3. Fourth Circuit: Immigration Judge’s Failure to Inform Noncitizen of Right to Appeal Deportation Order Was Prejudicial and Invalidated Later Indictment for Illegal Reentry (p 18)
  4. Wyoming Supreme Court Rules Officer’s Conduct Prior to Traffic Stop for Traffic Violation Rendered Stop Unreasonable (p 20)
  5. Eighth Circuit Announces ‘Probable Cause’ Is Proper Standard for Determining Whether Parolee Resides at Third-Party’s Residence for Purposes of Warrantless Searches (p 21)
  6. Minnesota Supreme Court Announces Plain Language of Interference With Privacy of a Minor Statute Requires That Defendant Must Have Known Victim Was Under 18 at Time of Offense (p 22)
  7. 360 Degree Surveillance: How Police Use Public-Private Partnerships to Spy on Americans (p 24)
  8. Texas Court of Criminal Appeals: Adding Felony Counts by Amending Indictment Constitutes Addition of More Offenses (p 26)
  9. California Court of Appeal Holds Phrase ‘From Date of Parole’ Refers to the Start Date of Parole and the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act Does Not Preempt the California Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act (p 27)
  10. The Mounting Geofencing Threat (p 28)
  11. After Years of Hard Work and Dedication, Adnan Syed Is Freed by Serendipity (p 30)
  12. Maryland Court of Appeals: ‘No Objection’ to Introduction of Evidence at Trial That Was the Subject of Denied Motion to Suppress Does Not Waive Right to Appellate Review of Denial (p 31)
  13. Sixth Circuit: Plain View Doctrine Does Not Apply Where Items Inside Vehicle Were Not Immediately and Apparently Incriminating When Viewed by Police Positioned Outside Vehicle (p 32)
  14. New Jersey Supreme Court: Allowing Jury to Hear Defendant’s Invocation of Right to Counsel in Recorded Statement Together With Prosecutor Inferring Guilt Based on Request for Counsel Entitles Defendant to New Trial (p 34)
  15. Sensitive Information in Police Database Vulnerable to Hacking (p 35)
  16. SCOTUS: Arizona Supreme Court’s Interpretation of State Procedural Rule so ‘Novel and Unforeseeable’ It’s Not ‘Adequate’ to Preclude SCOTUS Review of Federal Death-Penalty Claim (p 36)
  17. Pennsylvania Supreme Court: Exigent Circumstances Exception Does Not Justify Police’s Warrantless Seizure of Suspect’s Blood Sample by Hospital Staff (p 37)
  18. New Jersey Supreme Court Announces Adoption of Daubert-Type Standard for Criminal and Quasi-Criminal Cases in Assessing Admissibility of Expert Evidence Under Rule 702 (p 39)
  19. An Argument Without Teeth: The Flawed Science of Bite Mark Analysis (p 40)
  20. Survivors of Police Shootings Face Daunting Legal, Emotional, and Physical Challenges (p 41)
  21. Accused War Criminals Training Cops: What Could Go Wrong? (p 42)
  22. Time to Find the Key (p 42)
  23. Pro-Police Propaganda Dominates the Mainstream Media After Police Abuse and Failure (p 43)
  24. Study Finds DNA Similarities Among Look-alikes (p 43)
  25. Investigation Delays Let Cops Kill Again (p 44)
  26. $100 Million Awarded in Federal Grant Money for Recidivism Reduction (p 45)
  27. California Town Pushes Homeless Into the Desert (p 45)
  28. Law Enforcement Accesses Commercial DNA Databases Without Warrant (p 46)
  29. Automatic Speaker-Identification System Performs Better Than Humans (p 47)
  30. TSA Using Facial Recognition at Airports in Pilot Program (p 48)
  31. Corporations Voice Support for Black and Brown People as They Found Cop City (p 48)
  32. DNA-Based Computer-Generated Mugshots Put Entire Community on Wanted List (p 49)
  33. News in Brief (p 50)
  34. Law Enforcement and Mad Men (p 50)

The Power of the Prosecutor in America: Abuse, Misconduct, Unaccountability, and Miscarriages of Justice

by Casey J. Bastian

The prosecutor has more control over life, liberty and reputation than any other person in America.

– Robert Jackson, Former U.S. Attorney (1940)

To many people, prosecutors are viewed as the “Champion of the People.” Americans rightly expect those given such tremendous responsibility and incredible power ...

Massachusetts Supreme Court: Probationer’s Due Process Right to Present a Defense Violated Where Denied Opportunity to Call Complainant Who Alleged Sexual Assault as a Witness During Probation Revocation Hearing

by Harold Hempstead

The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts held that a probationer’s due process right to present a defense was violated when he was precluded from calling the complainant as a witness at his probation violation hearing.

In 2008, Concetto Costa pleaded guilty to pleaded guilty to multiple sex ...

Fourth Circuit: Immigration Judge’s Failure to Inform Noncitizen of Right to Appeal Deportation Order Was Prejudicial and Invalidated Later Indictment for Illegal Reentry

by Jacob Barrett

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that an immigration judge’s failure to inform an undocumented noncitizen of his right to appeal a deportation order was prejudicial and dismissed a subsequent indictment for illegal reentry in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1326(a).

In 2006, ...

Wyoming Supreme Court Rules Officer’s Conduct Prior to Traffic Stop for Traffic Violation Rendered Stop Unreasonable

by Anthony W. Accurso

The Supreme Court of Wyoming held that a state trooper’s actions prior to observing a traffic violation rendered the traffic stop unreasonable under both the Wyoming and U.S. Constitutions.

On August 28th, 2018, Wyoming Highway Patrol Trooper Shane Carraher observed a black Nissan Rogue traveling eastbound ...

Eighth Circuit Announces ‘Probable Cause’ Is Proper Standard for Determining Whether Parolee Resides at Third-Party’s Residence for Purposes of Warrantless Searches

by Anthony W. Accurso

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit upheld a suppression motion relating to the warrantless search of a home where an absconded parolee was suspected to be residing. In doing so, the Court announced that law enforcement must have probable cause that a parolee ...

Minnesota Supreme Court Announces Plain Language of Interference With Privacy of a Minor Statute Requires That Defendant Must Have Known Victim Was Under 18 at Time of Offense

by Jacob Barrett

In a case of first impression, the Supreme Court of Minnesota reversed and dismissed the charges for interfering with the privacy of a minor against Edgar Galvan-Contreras, holding that the plain language of Minn. Stat. § 609.476, subd. l(e)(2) (2018) requires that a defendant knew or had ...

360 Degree Surveillance: How Police Use Public-Private Partnerships to Spy on Americans

by John W. Whitehead and Nisha Whitehead, The Rutherford Institute – Commentary

“We live in a surveillance state founded on a partnership between government and the technology industry.”

— Law Professor Avidan Y. Cover

In this age of ubiquitous surveillance, there are no private lives: everything is public.

Surveillance cameras ...

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals: Adding Felony Counts by Amending Indictment Constitutes Addition of More Offenses

by Douglas Ankney

The Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas ruled that adding felony counts to an indictment via an amended indictment constitutes the adding of additional offenses to the indictment thereby allowing the State to obtain more convictions than authorized by the original indictment, which is prohibited by Tex. ...

California Court of Appeal Holds Phrase ‘From Date of Parole’ Refers to the Start Date of Parole and the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act Does Not Preempt the California Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act

by Douglas Ankney

In consolidated appeals, the Court of Appeal of California, Fourth Appellate District, held that the phrase “from the date of parole” refers to the start date of parole and that the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) does not preempt the California Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act ...

The Mounting Geofencing Threat

by Michael Dean Thompson

The January 6th Capitol riot illustrates how geofencing warrants are threatening American citizens. As part of the investigations into the events, the FBI served a geofencing warrant to Google that demanded a list of all the devices in or near the Capitol during the attack. An ...

After Years of Hard Work and Dedication, Adnan Syed Is Freed by Serendipity

by Jayson Hawkins

There are thousands of people incarcerated in America who are factually innocent. Until September of 2022, Adnan Syed was one of them. And, while we celebrate his freedom after it was wrongfully denied him for over 20 years, the fact that so many innocents remain behind bars ...

Maryland Court of Appeals: ‘No Objection’ to Introduction of Evidence at Trial That Was the Subject of Denied Motion to Suppress Does Not Waive Right to Appellate Review of Denial

by Harold Hempstead

The Court of Appeals of Maryland held that defense counsel did not waive Luis F. Huggins’ right to appeal the denial of his motion to suppress the warrantless search of his hotel room, by affirmatively stating “no objection,” when the State moved to introduce the evidence from ...

Sixth Circuit: Plain View Doctrine Does Not Apply Where Items Inside Vehicle Were Not Immediately and Apparently Incriminating When Viewed by Police Positioned Outside Vehicle

by Anthony W. Accurso

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled the plain view doctrine does not apply to a warrantless search of a vehicle where the items visible inside the vehicle by police standing outside the vehicle were not immediately and apparently incriminating.

In 2020, Detective ...

New Jersey Supreme Court: Allowing Jury to Hear Defendant’s Invocation of Right to Counsel in Recorded Statement Together With Prosecutor Inferring Guilt Based on Request for Counsel Entitles Defendant to New Trial

by Jacob Barrett

The Supreme Court of New Jersey reversed the convictions and sentence of Quinnizel J. Clark, ruling that allowing a jury to hear the invocation of his right to counsel and the prosecutor’s comments in summation could have led to a result it otherwise might not have reached. ...

Sensitive Information in Police Database Vulnerable to Hacking

by Kevin W. Bliss

The law enforcement tech company, ODIN – which catalogs tactical plans for police raids, criminal investigation information, and the personal data of any person coming into contact with police whether as victim, criminal, or confidential informant – was hacked January of this year after warnings of ...

SCOTUS: Arizona Supreme Court’s Interpretation of State Procedural Rule so ‘Novel and Unforeseeable’ It’s Not ‘Adequate’ to Preclude SCOTUS Review of Federal Death-Penalty Claim

by Richard Resch

In a 5-4 decision written by Justice Sotomayor, the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Arizona Supreme Court’s holding that Lynch v. Arizona, 578 U.S. 613 (2016), was not a “significant change in the law” is one of those rare cases in which ...

Pennsylvania Supreme Court: Exigent Circumstances Exception Does Not Justify Police’s Warrantless Seizure of Suspect’s Blood Sample by Hospital Staff

by Jacob Barrett

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania upheld a Superior Court’s decision that a blood sample taken by hospital staff must be suppressed because neither the exigent circumstances nor implied consent exceptions to the warrant requirement apply to justify the warrantless seizure.

Akim Jones-Williams drove his car at about ...

New Jersey Supreme Court Announces Adoption of Daubert-Type Standard for Criminal and Quasi-Criminal Cases in Assessing Admissibility of Expert Evidence Under Rule 702

by Richard Resch

The Supreme Court of New Jersey unanimously adopted a Daubert-type standard for determining the admissibility of expert evidence under New Jersey Rules of Evidence 702 (“Rule 702”) in all future criminal and quasi-criminal cases. Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993). The ...

An Argument Without Teeth: The Flawed Science of Bite Mark Analysis

by Eike Blohm, MD

A review published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST”) found that forensic bite mark analysis lacks sufficient scientific foundation.

Adult humans have 32 teeth but only the foremost dozen leave marks when one person bites another. Analyses of the patterns of injury are ...

Survivors of Police Shootings Face Daunting Legal, Emotional, and Physical Challenges

by Eike Blohm, MD

Approximately 1,100 Americans are shot and killed by police every year. In the shadow of this figure is a hidden population of survivors left with permanent disabilities, crippling medical debt, emotional trauma, and legal fallout.

Exactly how many Americans are wounded by police bullets each year ...

Accused War Criminals Training Cops: What Could Go Wrong?

by Jayson Hawkins

Cops have a dangerous job, and even though making a living as a logger or ironworker can be far deadlier, the nature of policing dictates an above average risk of dying on the job. The controversy arises when law enforcement agencies apply questionable strategies to keep their ...

Time to Find the Key

by Jayson Hawkins

“Lock’em up and throw away the key” has long been the rallying cry of the tough-on-crime crowd. While this approach may have an intuitive appeal to a public frightened by stories about crime in the media, a series of recent studies has challenged the rationale of long ...

Pro-Police Propaganda Dominates the Mainstream Media After Police Abuse and Failure

by Benjamin Tschirhart

While the track record of American police has never been stellar, the advent of the internet has made the public aware of their egregious failures and abuses in a way never before possible. Nevertheless, the mainstream media has doggedly persisted in its habit of allowing the police ...

Study Finds DNA Similarities Among Look-alikes

by Eike Blohm, MD

A recently published study shows that “doppelgängers” — unrelated strangers who look eerily similar — don’t just share looks; they have similar DNA.

The advent of social media and ubiquitous cellphone cameras has resulted in some people discovering their virtual twin. Two unrelated individuals who look ...

Investigation Delays Let Cops Kill Again

by Jayson Hawkins

Outrage at police killings of unarmed Black men ebbs and flows with the rhythm of short news cycles and shorter attention spans, but each new tragedy that ignites protests and calls for reform seems to push the needle toward more accountability and better policing. At least that’s ...

$100 Million Awarded in Federal Grant Money for Recidivism Reduction

by Kevin W. Bliss

The Bureau of Justice Assistance (“BJA”), created by the Department of Justice (“DOJ”), announced on October 5, 2022, that it was awarding over $100 million in grant money to programs geared toward recidivism reduction and the successful reentry of juveniles and adults into society after a ...

California Town Pushes Homeless Into the Desert

by Jayson Hawkins

Since the first cities arose millennia ago, homelessness has been a part of the urban landscape. A wide array of solutions has been attempted, some more humane than others, but no technique has a proven track record of long-term success. Homelessness in California has bubbled up to ...

Law Enforcement Accesses Commercial DNA Databases Without Warrant

by Eike Blohm, MD

Joseph James DeAngelo, known as the Golden State Killer who committed heinous crimes in California during the 1970s and 1980s, has been caught. Police were able to match crime scene DNA to DeAngelo’s distant relative in a genealogical genetic database.

As citizens of a country of ...

Automatic Speaker-Identification System Performs Better Than Humans

by Michael Dean Thompson

Many courts cases hinge on whether the voice or voices on a recording belong to a specific speaker, such as the defendant or a witness, who is unknown to the listener. Misidentification of a voice can influence juries and lead to disastrous decisions carrying lengthy sentences ...

TSA Using Facial Recognition at Airports in Pilot Program

by Anthony W. Accurso

The Transportation Security Administration (“TSA”) is now using a facial recognition system to check the IDs of airline travelers at select airports to assess whether the system should be deployed nationwide.

 The TSA checks are intended to enhance the safety of passengers and staff, but even ...

Corporations Voice Support for Black and Brown People as They Found Cop City

by Carlo Difundo

In the wake of the George Floyd murders, large corporations publicly expressed solidarity with the oppressed even as they privately funded massive police projects. America spends up to $100 billion each year to police its residents. Nevertheless, police foundations funnel even more money into the cops’ engorged ...

DNA-Based Computer-Generated Mugshots Put Entire Community on Wanted List

by Eike Blohm, MD

Parabon NanoLabs uses DNA from crime scenes to predict the appearance of suspects. A computer-generated mugshot released by the Edmonton Police Service was so generic that thousands of young Black men fit the profile.

The genetic information in our DNA is our genotype. It is comprised ...

News in Brief

Alabama: A former police officer in Birmingham was sentenced for murder on Feb. 6, 2023. AL.com reported that the former officer, Alfreda Fluker, 42, once a detective, was found to have shot and killed Kanisha Nicole Fuller, 43. The killing took place on April 11, 2020, when Fluker murdered ...

Law Enforcement and Mad Men

by Douglas Ankney

About two decades ago, the TV network AMC had a hit show entitled Mad Men. Starring Jon Hamm and others, it portrayed the foibles of the financially elite but morally bankrupt men and women in the business of writing ad copy. Hence, the title “Mad ...

 

 

Disciplinary Self-Help Litigation Manual - Side
CLN Subscribe Now Ad
Prisoner Education Guide side