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The Supreme Court dismissed Appellant’s motion seeking leave to proceed with a belated appeal of a circuit court order that dismissed his pro se petition for writ of habeas corpus after treating the motion as a motion for rule on clerk, holding that it was clear that Appellant could not prevail on appeal if the appeal went forward. In his habeas petition, Appellant made several contentions, including that the judgment in his case was illegal on its face and that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to enter the judgment. The Supreme Court dismissed Appellant’s appeal from the habeas court’s denial of his petition, holding that Appellant’s arguments did not establish a ground for the writ. View "Davis v. Kelley" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the circuit court dismissing Appellant’s petition for writ of habeas corpus, holding that charging Appellant in an amendment to the information originally filed in his brother’s case did not deprive the trial court of either subject-matter or personal jurisdiction. Appellant was not personally charged in an original felony information, but, rather, Appellant’s name was added to an amendment to the felony information that originally charged only his brother with the offenses of which Appellant was later convicted. As grounds for issuance of the writ, Appellant argued that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to enter the judgment of conviction because he was charged in an amendment to the felony information that charged his brother. The Supreme Court affirmed the habeas court’s dismissal of Appellant’s petition, holding that charging Appellant in an amendment to the information charging his brother did not deprive the trial court of either subject-matter or personal jurisdiction. View "Anderson v. Kelley" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court denied Petitioner’s pro se petition to reinvest jurisdiction in the trial court to consider a petition for a writ of error coram nobis, holding that the petition was without merit. As grounds for issuance of the writ, Petitioner alleged that the prosecution withheld evidence that two men pleaded guilty to the murder for which Petitioner had been convicted. The Supreme Court held that because the transcript attached to Petitioner’s coram nobis petition did not contain facts that would have prevented the rendition of the guilty verdict but, rather, confirmed Petitioner’s guilt and because the guilty plea at issue occurred six years after Petitioner was tried for capital murder, Petitioner was not entitled to coram nobis relief. View "Dednam v. State" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court denied Petitioner’s pro se petition to reinvest jurisdiction in the trial court to consider a petition for writ of error coram nobis, holding that Petitioner failed to demonstrate in the petition that the writ should issue. In his coram nobis petition, Petitioner asserted that the prosecution withheld material evidence during the trial in violation of Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), and that his accomplice confessed by pleading guilty. The Supreme Court denied relief, holding (1) Petitioner failed to allege facts sufficient to support his claim of a Brady violation; and (2) the nature of Petitioner’s second argument failed to establish a ground for issuance of the writ. View "Cunningham v. State" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s denial of Appellant’s petition for postconviction relief under Ark. R. Crim. P. 37.1, holding that none of Appellant’s claims merited postconviction relief under Rule 37. Appellant was convicted of drug-related charges. The Supreme Court affirmed. Appellant then filed his Rule 37 petition, alleging that his attorney provided ineffective assistance and trial error. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the trial court did not err in denying relief; and (2) the trial court did not err in denying Appellant’s request for representation in his Rule 37 proceedings. View "Lane v. State" on Justia Law

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North River and its bail agent, Bad Boys, appealed the trial court's conditional bond exoneration order. In this case, the criminal defendant was found and extradited from Washington state. At issue was a portion of the award of costs awarded to the County to recoup the wages and benefits owed to the two law enforcement officers who transported defendant. The Court of Appeal affirmed and held that Penal Code section 1306, subdivision (b), entitles counties, as agents of the State of California, to seek compensation for the costs of returning a defendant to custody. The court held that appellants failed to meet their burden of presenting legal authority describing why the language of section 1306, subdivision (b), would not allow for the costs associated with the wages and benefits of officers engaged in the extradition process. Accordingly, the court affirmed the award of costs under section 1306, subdivision (b). View "People v. The North River Insurance Co." on Justia Law

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The Fifth Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. The court held that the district court properly denied defendant's motion to suppress evidence seized from the search of his vehicle where he consented to the search. The court also held that references to certain out-of-court statements by a confidential source were harmless. In this case, the confidential source placed defendant at the scene of the crime, but so did the officers who pursued the tip and caught defendant red-handed. View "United States v. Sarli" on Justia Law

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Eight men entered a Chicago rail-yard, broke into a parked cargo train, and discovered firearms being shipped to a distributor. They stole over 100 guns. The government claimed, and one robber (Turner) testified, that another robber (Walker), contacted Driggers to sell the guns. Turner and Walker took 30 stolen firearms to Driggers’s store and consummated the sale. Turner received $1,700 for six guns that comprised his share. Driggers was not on the lease but the store was his. Police searched Driggers’s store. An ATF Agent testified that the agents found a hodgepodge of merchandise (some apparently stolen), personal documents and items belonging to Driggers, and a gun hidden in the backroom--its serial number matched a gun stolen during the train robbery. Trial testimony and phone records showed that after Driggers allegedly purchased the 30 stolen guns, he contacted Gates. Before Driggers’s trial, Gates confessed. Gates’s storage units contained six stolen guns. Gates confessed to purchasing them, plus 11 others from the train robbery. In his own case, Gates stated that he purchased those guns from Lipscomb and Peebles; in Driggers’s case, the prosecution argued that Gates had bought them from Driggers. The Seventh Circuit affirmed Driggers’s conviction for possession of a firearm as a felon, 18 U.S.C. 922(g). He was acquitted of possession of a stolen firearm. The court rejected arguments that the district court improperly allowed testimony about Gates and gave an erroneous jury instruction on joint possession. View "United States v. Driggers" on Justia Law

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Defendant Davonte Stinson and codefendant Dontae McFadden approached S.A. in his parked car and, at gunpoint, took several items from him including his wallet, keys, and cell phone. Still at gunpoint, they made S.A. move from the driver’s seat to the trunk, placed him in the trunk and closed it, and then continued to look through the car. Defendant and codefendant then fled, leaving S.A. in the trunk. Shortly thereafter, using S.A.’s keys, defendant and codefendant entered the apartment S.A. shared with his fiancé, A.L.G., and her two children. At gunpoint, they demanded that A.L.G. give them whatever guns and money that were in the apartment. After obtaining two guns and other items, they left. Defendant and codefendant were tried together. The jury found defendant guilty of kidnapping to commit robbery, robbery in the second degree, possession of a firearm by a felon, and robbery in the first degree. On appeal, defendant argued: (1) the trial court abused its discretion in denying the defense motion to sever count six (felon in possession of a firearm alleged against codefendant), charging only codefendant with being a felon in possession of a firearm based on the discovery of a handgun in codefendant’s backpack approximately three months after the robberies of S.A. and A.L.G; (2) the evidence was legally insufficient to support the conviction of kidnapping to commit robbery because it failed to establish that the movement of S.A. from the driver’s seat to the trunk of his car was more than incidental to the commission of the robbery and that it increased the risk of harm to S.A.; and (3) the court erred in the manner in which it modified CALCRIM No. 1203. In the published portion of its opinion, the Court of Appeal concluded the trial court did not err in instructing the jury with the modified version of CALCRIM No. 1203. In the unpublished portions of this opinion, the Court concluded the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying the defense motion to sever; nor were defendant’s due process and fair trial rights violated by the joinder. Furthermore, the evidence was legally sufficient to support the conviction of kidnapping to commit robbery. However, finding merit to the contentions raised by defendant in his supplemental briefing, the Court remanded this case back to the trial court for a Franklin hearing and for the trial court to exercise its discretion under Penal section 12022.53 (h), to consider whether to strike the section 12022.53 (b), enhancement. Otherwise, the Court affirmed. View "California v. Stinson" on Justia Law

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Appellant Christian Sims was charged with murder. He filed a pretrial motion to suppress evidence of real-time location information used to track his cell phone by “pinging” it without a warrant. Using that information, police found and arrested him. In his motion to suppress, Appellant argued that the police violated the Fourth Amendment when they searched his phone for real-time location information. He also contended that the search violated the federal Stored Communications Act (the SCA), and articles 18.21 and 38.23(a) of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. The trial court denied Appellant’s motion, and Appellant pled guilty pursuant to a plea bargain. The judge sentenced him to 35 years’ confinement. As part of the agreement, he reserved the right to appeal the trial court’s ruling. The court of appeals affirmed the ruling of the trial court. Appellant filed a petition for discretionary review by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, which was granted on two grounds: (1) whether suppression is a remedy for a violation of the SCA or Article 18.21; and (2) whether a person was entitled to a reasonable expectation of privacy in real-time CSLI records stored in a cell phone’s electronic storage. The Court concluded suppression was not an available remedy under the Stored Communications Act unless the violation also violated the United States Constitution. And suppression was not an available remedy for a violation of Article 18.21 unless the violation infringed on the United States or Texas constitutions. Under the facts of this case, Appellant did not have an expectation of privacy in the real-time location information stored in his phone. Therefore, the Court affirmed the court of appeals' judgment. View "Sims v. Texas" on Justia Law