Criminal Law

Daily criminal law and procedure case summaries, brought to you by
  1. (United States Second Circuit) - Affirming the judgment after a bench trial convicting a man who failed to register as a sex offender and rejecting his arguments that venue was improper and that the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act's registration requirements were void for vagueness and violated his right to travel.
  2. (United States Second Circuit) - Affirming the district court's decision denying a defendant's motion to reduce his sentence because even assuming his eligibility for the two-level decrease in his offense level he claimed the amended Guidelines range was the same as when he was originally sentenced.
  3. (California Court of Appeal) - Reversing and remanding the appeal of a petition filed under the Welfare and Institutions Code alleging that a 12 year old had murdered their mother with a knife because several pre-arrest statements had been admitted in violation of Miranda and the admission of the statements was not harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.
  4. (California Court of Appeal) - Rejecting arguments that caselaw had prohibited the mandatory punishment of life without parole for minors for any offense or the death penalty under any circumstances even for minors who commit homicide and refusing to apply the defunct irresistible impulse test to determine a juvenile multiple murderer's sanity, but conditionally reversing for proceedings in juvenile court because a retroactively applicable initiative entitled him to a juvenile court hearing.
  5. (United States Supreme Court) - Reversing a court of appeals denial of the direct appeal of a man who pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm on US capitol grounds for possessing firearms in his locked jeep, parked on the grounds of the capitol, because a a guilty plea, by itself, does not bar federal criminal defendants from challenging the constitutionality of the statute of conviction on direct appeal.
  6. (United States Third Circuit) - Affirming on alternative grounds the district court's decision to deny a motion to suppress evidence collected by the FBI, which obtained a single search warrant to search the computers of thousands of users of a dark web site used by child pornographers because although the magistrate exceeded their authority in issuing the warrant the law enforcement officers proceeded in good faith, making the evidence eligible to the exception to the exclusionary rule and precluding suppression.
  7. (California Court of Appeal) - Affirming the trial court's refusal to instruct the jury on involuntary or vehicular manslaughter and the court's instruction that voluntary intoxication is not a defense in the case of a woman convicted of implied malice murder following a fatal accident that occurred when they were intoxicated because the evidence was sufficient and the instructions were proper.
  8. (United States Fourth Circuit) - Affirming the district court grant of summary judgment to the government in a civil forfeiture case involving cash seized from a storage unit that reeked of marijuana because the owner's brother, seeking to intervene, was unable to establish a colorable interest in the property that would provide standing to challenge the seizure.
  9. (United States Ninth Circuit) - Affirming the district court's denial of a habeas corpus petition challenging the Board of Prisons' determination of when his federal sentence commenced because they correctly counted his detention from the time of his proper transfer from state authorities and not using one of the two prior erroneous exchanges of his custody during the completion of his state sentence because these erroneous transfers did not manifest the state's consent to terminate its primary jurisdiction.
  10. (United States Second Circuit) - Holding that proceedings in which third parties claim an interest in criminally forfeited property are civil, rather than criminal proceedings, and that the clock on the time to file notice of appeal starts running when the court issues its decision and not when it later enters an order reaffirming the decision and explaining its reasoning.
  11. (United States Fourth Circuit) - Affirming the district court's judgment in admitting evidence of a former police officer's prior uses of force, instructions on the elements of the offense were proper, and the officer, convicted of deprivation of rights under color of law, could be held liable for injuries the victim sustained when arrested by another law enforcement officer because the government met the specific proof burden to hold him liable.
  12. (California Court of Appeal) - Remanding the conviction of a man for murdering and attempting to murder two rival gang members because, although the court affirmed the jury instructions, the case needed to be remanded to make a record of information that would be relevant to the convict's youthful offender parole in 25 years.
  13. (United States Fourth Circuit) - Affirming the enhanced sentence for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon because a North Carolina conviction for voluntary manslaughter is a violent felony under the force clause of the Armed Career Criminal Act.
  14. (California Court of Appeal) - Dismissing the appeal of a superior court denial of a request for resentencing in the convictions of a man seeking ex-parte relief through a letter to the court pleading for leniency under Proposition 57 because the denial of this letter was not appealable.
  15. (California Court of Appeal) - Vacating convictions for first degree residential robbery that were duplicative of convictions for home invasion robbery, but otherwise affirming and holding that a 15 year old girl inside the residence, the homeowners' daughter, could be deemed a victim of the robbery.