Blog Archives

4th Circuit flags possible misreading of Eighth Amendment precedents

An interesting opinion from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit this week all but invites a future challenge to some of that court’s Eighth Amendment case law. The case involved a teenager sentenced to a fifteen-year mandatory

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DCCA: D.C. gun law unconstitutional

Can it be a crime to simply ride in a car in which you know there is an illegal gun? In a 2-1 opinion by Judge Glickman today, the D.C. Court of Appeals says no. The law in question is

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DCCA: DNA analysts should present results in court

Earlier this summer, I wrote about the North Carolina Supreme Court‘s handling of the doctrinal mess made by the U.S. Supreme Court‘s fractured opinions in Williams v. Illinois.  Well, on September 12, the D.C. Court of Appeals announced its latest

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Fourth Circuit weighs in on circuit split; harmless error review in collateral challenge to conviction

In an opinion published today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit announced that, in collateral challenges to federal criminal convictions under § 2255, it would follow the harmless error standard used by most of the other circuit

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DC Circuit: To measure a crime’s “seriousness,” use Sentencing Guidelines

An opinion issued today by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit begins by saying that the defendant “is innocent of the crime for which he was charged and convicted. The government does not dispute that point.” But

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