Criminal Law

Daily criminal law and procedure case summaries, brought to you by
  1. (United States Seventh Circuit) - Affirmed a conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Rejected the defendant's argument that the judge should have given a proposed "innocent possession" instruction.
  2. (California Court of Appeal) - Held that a man who burned down a church could be convicted of both aggravated arson and arson, because one was not a lesser included offense of the other. However, reversed certain aspects of his conviction and remanded for resentencing.
  3. (California Court of Appeal) - Affirmed a defendant's conviction for using his car in an assault with a deadly weapon. However, remanded for resentencing.
  4. (United States Ninth Circuit) - Held that an Arizona death row inmate received ineffective assistance of counsel at the penalty phase of his murder case. Remanded with instructions to grant habeas relief against the death penalty, unless within a reasonable time the state retries the penalty phase or decides to modify the sentence to life in prison.
  5. (United States Fifth Circuit) - Dismissed a police officer's appeal from a denial of qualified immunity, in a lawsuit accusing him of using excessive force. Held that appellate jurisdiction was lacking under the circumstances here.
  6. (United States Fifth Circuit) - Revived a prison inmate's claim that correctional officers used excessive force against him during an incident at the prison. Reversed a summary judgment ruling, finding a genuine dispute of material fact.
  7. (United States Seventh Circuit) - Affirmed a financial executive's sentence for wire fraud. He had helped sell millions of dollars in fraudulent loans to an investment adviser.
  8. (United States Fifth Circuit) - Affirmed the healthcare fraud convictions of three medical doctors and a staff member, in a case involving a scheme to defraud Medicare.
  9. (United States Second Circuit) - Affirmed the dismissal of a federal prison inmate's pro se complaint as a sanction for misrepresenting his litigation history.
  10. (United States Fifth Circuit) - Affirmed that a Texas death row inmate was not entitled to federal post-conviction relief. Also upheld that the denial of his request for further investigative funding.
  11. (United States Fifth Circuit) - Revived a citizen's claim that a sheriff's office Facebook page unconstitutionally censored speech. She claimed that her controversial comments were deleted and she was banned from the site, in violation of her First Amendment rights. Vacated a dismissal in relevant part.
  12. (California Court of Appeal) - Dismissed a criminal defendant's appeal seeking the striking of firearm sentencing enhancements. Held that the challenged order was not appealable under the circumstances here.
  13. (California Court of Appeal) - Held that the county did not have to pay the expense of providing copies of discovery to an indigent defendant who had private counsel (retained by his mother). Affirmed his conviction of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
  14. (United States Ninth Circuit) - Affirmed an airline passenger's conviction for engaging in nonconsensual sexual contact with a sleeping passenger on an international flight, in violation of a federal statute.
  15. (California Court of Appeal) - Held that a criminal defendant had a Sixth Amendment right to maintain his innocence of the alleged acts, despite counsel's advice to admit the acts but deny the necessary mental state. The defendant contended that his counsel had improperly overridden his insistence of factual innocence in adopting a defense strategy. Agreeing with him, the California Court of Appeal reversed his conviction of attempted murder of a police officer.