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Caldwell’s 1991 second-degree murder conviction was reversed when the trial court granted his habeas corpus petition. Caldwell’s habeas petition alleged various grounds for relief, including an actual innocence claim, but the sole basis for granting the petition was the ineffective assistance of his trial counsel. Caldwell filed an unsuccessful Penal Code section 1485.551 motion for a finding of factual innocence. The court of appeal affirmed after noting that the order is appealable. The court rejected an argument that the trial court implicitly ignored or discounted certain evidence or applied an incorrect burden of proof in deciding the motion. The court noted many contradictions in Caldwell’s own testimony, multiple witnesses against him, and Caldwell’s efforts to intimidate a witness. Caldwell did not prove his innocence by a preponderance of the evidence. View "People v. Caldwell" on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit sua sponte vacated its prior opinion and substituted the following opinion. On direct appeal, defendant challenged his two firearm convictions, claiming that his predicate Hobbs Act robbery and attempted robbery offenses did not constitute crimes of violence under 18 U.S.C. 924(c)(3). The court expressly readopted and reinstated in full Sections I, II, III(A), and III(C) of its panel opinion in St. Hubert I just as previously written. The court again reaffirmed the residual clause in Section III(B), but did so on the basis of its en banc decision in Ovalles v. United States, 905 F.3d 1231 (11th Cir. Oct. 4, 2018). Finally, the panel readopted and reinstated Section IV of its prior panel opinion with some additional analysis. The court held that defendant's guilty plea did not waive his particular claims that Counts 8 and 12 failed to charge an offense at all; sections 924(c)(3)(B)'s risk-of-force clause was constitutional under Ovalles, and defendant's predicate Hobbs Act robbery and attempted Hobbs Act robbery qualified as crimes of violence under section 924(c)(3)(B)'s risk-of-force clause; and, as an independent, alternative ground for affirming defendant's convictions and sentences on Counts 8 and 12, the court concluded that defendant's predicate offenses of Hobbs Act robbery and attempted Hobbs Act robbery categorically qualified as crimes of violence under section 924(c)(3)(A)'s elements clause. View "United States v. St. Hubert" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the order of the district court granting Respondent’s motion to dismiss the indictment charging him with violating Nev. Rev. Stat. 212.165(4), holding that that a person who is not a prisoner can be held vicariously liable under section 212.165(4), which prohibits prisoners in jail from possessing a cellphone or other portable telecommunications device. Respondent was an attorney who represented a number of clients in jail. Respondent was indicted on several charges brought pursuant to section 212.165(4) for possession of a cellphone by a prisoner under an aider and abettor theory. Respondent moved to dismiss the charges against her, contending that she could not be charged with or convicted of violating the statute because it only criminalizes conduct by jail prisoners. The district court granted the motion, concluding that only a prisoner can be sentenced under section 212.165(4). The Supreme Court reversed, holding that a person can be criminally liable as an aider or abettor under section 212.165(4). View "State v. Plunkett" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court vacated the decision of the intermediate court of appeals’ (ICA) affirming the circuit court’s “Order Denying Application of Surety Providing Good Cause as to Why Execution Should Not Issue as to Judgment of Forfeiture,” holding that the circuit court erred as a matter of law. Defendant Joselyn Punion made an oral motion to set aside the bail bond forfeiture. The circuit court denied the motion, requiring a written motion to set aside the bail bond forfeiture and required the motion be filed by J & J Bail Bonds. The Supreme Court held that the circuit court erred as a matter of law when it did not consider Defendant’s motion and instead required that the surety file the motion and remanded this matter to the circuit court to consider Defendant’s motion to set aside the bail bond forfeiture. View "State v. Punio " on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction and sentence for possessing a gun and ammunition as a felon. The court held that the district court did not clearly err in denying defendant's motion to suppress bullets found in his pockets because there was probable cause to arrest him. In this case, defendant matched the material aspects of the shooter's description and a reasonable officer could have concluded that defendant was the shooter. The court also held that defendant's constitutional right to mount a defense was not violated; the district court did not abuse its discretion in limiting cross-examination or in its evidentiary rulings; the district court did not err in determining that first-degree aggravated robbery was a violent felony for purposes of sentencing defendant under the Armed Career Criminal Act; the district court did not err in treating the robbery and second-degree assault conviction as separate predicate offenses for ACCA purposes; and the district court did not err in counting the felony domestic assault as a violent felony. View "United States v. Perry" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the order of the postconviction court denying Appellant’s motion filed pursuant to Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.851, holding that the judge who heard Appellant’s motion should have recused herself. Appellant was sentenced to death following a jury’s recommendation for death by a vote of eleven to one. Appellant’s sentence of death became final in 1990. In 2017, Appellant filed the successive postconviction motion at issue in this case seeking relief pursuant to Hurst v. Florida, 136 S. Ct. 616 (2016), and Hurst v. State (Hurst), 202 So. 3d 40 (Fla. 2016). Judge Linda McCallum summarily denied the motion. Appellant then filed a motion to disqualify judge McCallum on the basis that she was an assistant state attorney working on capital cases at the time of Appellant’s postconviction proceedings. Judge McCallum denied the motion. The Supreme Court remanded this case for reassignment to another huge for evaluation of Appellant’s claims, holding that Judge McCallum should have granted Appellant’s motion to disqualify. View "Reed v. State" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the postconviction court’s summary denial of Appellant’s successive postconviction motion to vacate his sentences of death under Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.851, holding that the record conclusively demonstrated that Appellant was not entitled to relief. In 1986, Appellant was convicted of two counts of murder. Appellant’s death sentences became final in 1989. In the instant appeal, Appellant argued that the postconviction court erred in denying his intellectual disability claim without holding an evidentiary hearing and in denying his claim under Hurst v. Florida, 136 S. Ct. 616 (2016), and Hurst v. State, 202 So. 3d 40 (Fla. 2016). The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the record conclusively showed that Appellant’s intellectual disability claim was untimely and that Appellant’s Hurst claim did not entitle him to relief. View "Harvey v. State" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the postconviction court denying Appellant’s motion filed pursuant to Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.851, holding that Appellant was not entitled to relief under Hurst v. Florida, 136 S. Ct. 616 (2016), and Hurst v. State (Hurst), 202 So. 3d 40 (Fla. 2016). Appellant was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. The death sentence was imposed following a jury’s recommendation for death by a vote of seven to five. Appellant’s death sentence became final in 1997. In 2017, Appellant filed the successive motion for postconviction relief at issue in this case, seeking relief pursuant to Hurst. The postconviction court summarily denied the motion. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Hurst did not apply retroactively to Appellant’s sentence of death, and therefore, Appellant was not entitled to the relief he claimed. View "Mungin v. State" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court remanded for further findings of fact this appeal from the denial of Appellant’s petition to proceed in the circuit court as a pauper with a petition for writ of habeas corpus, holding that the circuit court failed to provide sufficient findings for the Supreme Court to review. In Gardner v. Kelley, 549 S.W.3d 349 (Ark. 2018), the Supreme Court held that the circuit court is required under Ark. R. Civ. P. 72 to enter specific findings on a petitioner’s indigency before addressing issues as to whether the petition had stated a colorable claim. Here, the Court remanded to the circuit court for a supplemental order on the in forma pauperis petition that contains adequate findings of fact and complies with Ark. R. Civ. P. 72. View "Rea v. Kelley" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court denied Petitioner’s petition asking that the Court reinvest jurisdiction in the trial court so that he may proceed with a petition for writ of error coram nobis, holding that Petitioner did not establish a ground for the writ. Petitioner was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. The Supreme Court reversed the judgment and remanded the case for a new trial. After a retrial, Petitioner was again convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. The Supreme Court affirmed. Petitioner filed the instant petition alleging that a witness who testified on retrial recanted her testimony implicating him. The Supreme Court denied the petition, holding that Petitioner’s claim of recanted testimony, standing alone, was not cognizable in an error coram nobis proceeding and that the allegations concerning the testimony were developed during his trial. View "Foreman v. State" on Justia Law