Supreme Court Hears Challenge to Double-Jeopardy Exception

double jeopardy exception

By Christopher Zoukis On December 6, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in Gamble v. United States, raising the issue of whether sometimes defendants can face separate trials, and possibly conviction and sentencing, for the same violation in both state and federal courts, despite the Constitution’s provision against double jeopardy.…

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Is It Curtains For The First Step Act?

Last Chance for First Step Act

By Christopher Zoukis Back in February, the House of Representatives by a 360-59 margin passed H.R. 5628, the “First Step” Act – an acronym for the “Formerly Incarcerated Re-enter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person Act.” With bipartisan co-sponsors, Reps. Doug Collins (R-GA) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), the bill had…

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Retired California Police Officer Receives 28-Year Sentence for Drive-By Shooting

By Christopher Zoukis A retired police officer from Hercules, California has been sentenced to 28 years in prison for attempting to murder his estranged wife in a 2015 drive-by shooting. John Goodner was accused of stalking and harassing his estranged wife for months leading up to his attempt to murder…

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Eleventh Circuit Grants Habeas Hearing in Judicial Bias Case

By Christopher Zoukis The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has reversed a district court and ruled that an evidentiary hearing is required when a criminal defendant has sufficiently alleged actual bias on the part of a trial judge. Harrison Norris, Jr., who is black, was convicted…

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Fifth Circuit Vacates Child Pornography Sentence

By Christopher Zoukis The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has vacated and remanded the sentence of a convicted child pornographer. Jason Daniel Scott pleaded guilty to one count of possessing child pornography and was sentenced to 108 months of imprisonment and lifetime supervised release. As part…

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Mass. Supreme Court: Field Sobriety Tests Inadmissible Re: Marijuana

By Christopher Zoukis The Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that field sobriety tests (“FSTs”) may not be used as definitive evidence of impairment in cases involving allegations of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of marijuana. The Court also ruled that FSTs are admissible as contemporaneous observations of the…

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