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The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) requires states to permit "overseas voters" to vote by absentee ballot in federal elections, 52 U.S.C. 20302(a)(1). An “overseas voter” resides outside the U.S. and would otherwise be qualified to vote in the last place in which the person was domiciled in the U.S. Illinois law provides that “[a]ny non‐resident civilian citizen, otherwise qualified to vote," may vote by mail in a federal election. "Non‐resident civilian citizens" reside “outside the territorial limits" of the U.S. but previously maintained a residence in Illinois and are not registered to vote in any other state. Former Illinois residents, now residing in the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands, challenged the laws as violating their equal protection rights and their right to travel protected by the Due Process Clause. The territories where the plaintiffs reside are considered part of the U.S. under the statutes, while other territories are not. The district court held that there was a rational basis for the inclusion of some territories but not others in the definition. The Seventh Circuit affirmed with respect to the Illinois statute but concluded that plaintiffs lack standing to challenge the UOCAVA, which does not prevent Illinois from providing the plaintiffs absentee ballots and does not cause their injury. The plaintiffs are not entitled to ballots under state law. View "Segovia v. United States" on Justia Law

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The State of New Mexico appealed the suppression of two statements made by sixteen-year-old Filemon V. Filemon made the first statement to his probation officers. The New Mexico Supreme Court held that, absent a valid waiver, Section 32A-2-14(C) of the Delinquency Act of the Children’s Code precluded the admission of Filemon’s statement to his probation officers while in investigatory detention. The Court affirmed the district court’s order suppressing the use of the statement in a subsequent prosecution. The second contested statement was elicited by police officers at the Silver City Police Department. Filemon was at this point in custody, and entitled to be warned of his Miranda rights. At issue was whether the midstream Miranda warnings were sufficient to inform Filemon of his rights. The Supreme Court concluded the warnings were insufficient under Missouri v. Seibert, 542 U.S. 600 (2004). Because the statement was elicited in clear violation of the Fifth Amendment and Section 32A-2- 19 14, the district court’s suppression of the statement was affirmed. View "New Mexico v. Filemon V." on Justia Law

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The State of Idaho appealed a district court decision suppressing evidence found during a search of Brody Jaskowski’s pickup. Relying on Idaho v. Turek, 250 P.3d 796 (Ct. App. 2011), the district court held that Jaskowski’s probation agreement required that his probation officer request that Jaskowski submit to a search. The district court found that the probation officer did not make such a request of Jaskowski before searching his vehicle. Therefore, the district court suppressed evidence discovered in the course of the search. Finding no reversible error in that district court decision, the Idaho Supreme Court affirmed it. View "Idaho v. Jaskowski" on Justia Law

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The Commonwealth charged Appellee Alwasi Yong with a number of drug and firearms offenses including possession with intent to manufacture or deliver a controlled substance (PWID), firearms not to be carried without a license, persons not to possess a firearm, and criminal conspiracy to commit PWID. Yong filed an omnibus pretrial motion in which he sought the suppression of physical evidence resulting from his seizure and arrest. Specifically, Yong argued his mere presence at the subject residence of the search warrant was insufficient to justify a protective pat-down frisk. Yong further argued police lacked probable cause to arrest him. The trial court held a suppression hearing at which an investigating officer testified to the three-day surveillance of the property and the execution of the search warrant. The Commonwealth did not introduce the search warrant into evidence. The specific issue presented in this case for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s review was whether an investigating officer’s knowledge of facts sufficient to create probable cause to arrest could be imputed to a second officer, who arrests the suspect, when the two officers are working as a team, but there was no evidence the investigating officer with probable cause directed the arresting officer to act. Under the version of the “collective knowledge” doctrine the Supreme Court adopted in this case, it concluded Yong’s arrest was constitutional. Thus, the Court reversed the judgment of the Superior Court. View "Pennsylvania v. Yong" on Justia Law

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Petitioner Eduardo Sandoval was a member of the Tacoma-based Eastside Lokotes Surefios (ELS) gang. In a stolen van, ELS members pulled up to a car and fired no less than 12 gunshots from at least two firearms into the passenger door. The driver, Camilla Love, was hit three times and died from her injuries. The passenger, Joshua Love, was hit two times but survived. The van occupants targeted the Loves on the mistaken belief that Joshua Love was a Pirus gang member. At the time, the van occupants were seeking out rival Pirus members to retaliate for an earlier driveby shooting targeting ELS members, including Sandoval. In this personal restraint petition (PRP) concerning complicity charges based on murder by extreme indifference, the Washington Supreme Court rejected petitioner’s contentions that accomplice liability for murder by extreme indifference and conspiracy to commit murder by extreme indifference were not cognizable offenses. Furthermore, the Court held the trial court erred in failing to give a requested lesser included instruction on manslaughter, and on this limited basis the Court granted the PRP and remanded for further proceedings. View "In re Pers. Restraint of Sandoval" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction for one count of conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance, methamphetamine, thus rejecting Defendant’s claims of error on appeal. Specifically, the court held (1) the trial court did not abuse its discretion or commit plain error in admitting certain testimony into evidence; (2) the trial court did not err in denying Defendant’s motion to dismiss on Fifth Amendment double jeopardy grounds; and (3) plain error did not occur when a law enforcement witness offered his opinion that Defendant committed the crime of conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine. View "Garriott v. State" on Justia Law

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The Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted review in this case to assess what relief, if any, a criminal defendant is entitled to when he raises an illegal sentencing challenge premised on Alleyne v. United States, 133 S.Ct. 2151 (2013) in a timely petition filed pursuant to the Pennsylvania Post Conviction Relief Act when, at the time Alleyne was decided, the defendant’s judgment of sentence was not yet final. Appellee Phillip DiMatteo, entered into an open guilty plea to 56 counts of possession with intent to deliver (PWID) and one count each of criminal conspiracy and corrupt organizations. The charges stemmed from a drug operation in which DiMatteo and fourteen other individuals were involved in trafficking cocaine. Relevant to the issue, the Commonwealth sought imposition of the mandatory minimum sentence under 18 Pa.C.S. 7508 which set various mandatory minimum sentences for certain violations of The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, including PWID, predicated on the weight and classification of the controlled substance. The trial court imposed mandatory minimum sentences pursuant to Section 7508 on 55 counts of PWID, structuring its sentence, by ordering certain sentences to run concurrently and others consecutively, such that DiMatteo faced an aggregate sentence of fifteen to thirty years’ imprisonment. The sentencing court denied his motion for reconsideration. Five days after that denial, Alleyne was handed down, holding that any fact which, by law, increased the mandatory minimum sentence for a crime must be: (1) treated as an element of the offense, as opposed to a sentencing factor; (2) submitted to the jury; and (3) found beyond a reasonable doubt. In this case, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court found that at the time DiMatteo entered into his open guilty plea, there was no “shared misapprehension” regarding the legality of the sentences that could be imposed, and there was no agreement or bargain between the Commonwealth and DiMatteo as to sentencing at all. The sentencing court did not impose its sentence under a misconception over what sentence it could impose under law. Alleyne rendered the mandatory minimum schemes with the defective judicial fact-finding procedure illegal. “This is not an occasion where a defendant and the Commonwealth bargained for a term of imprisonment, and the defendant reneged. . . . the remedy is a correction of the illegal sentence.” View "Pennsylvania v. Dimatteo" on Justia Law

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The trial court did not err in determining that Plaintiffs failed to establish that the state’s educational offerings are not minimally adequate under Conn. Const. art. VIII, 1. Plaintiffs brought this action seeking, inter alia, a declaratory judgment that various state officials and members of the State Board of Education failed to provide “suitable and substantially equal educational opportunities” in violation of Conn. Const. art. VIII, 1 and Conn. Const. art. I, 1 and 20, as amended by articles five and twenty-one of the amendments. The trial court concluded that the state’s educational policies and spending practices violate article eighth, section one and rejected Plaintiffs’ remaining arguments. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding that Plaintiffs failed to establish that Defendants violated Plaintiffs’ rights under article eighth, section one and article first, sections one and twenty. View "Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education, Inc. v. Rell" on Justia Law

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A jury convicted Maria Arevalo of possessing methamphetamine for sale. The trial court suspended execution of sentence and granted three years formal probation on several conditions. On appeal, Arevalo contended the probation condition requiring her to maintain a residence approved by her probation officer was unconstitutionally overbroad and violated her right to travel and freedom of association. She also requested that the Court of Appeal independently review the in camera hearing of her “Pitchess” motion. With respect to the Pitchess motion, the Court reviewed the reporter’s transcript and concluded the trial court complied with the required Pitchess procedures. As such, the Court concluded the trial court did not abuse its discretion in determining there was discoverable information with respect to one incident; the remaining records were not related to false reports or dishonesty and were properly withheld from production. View "California v. Arevalo" on Justia Law

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Johnson was convicted of rape, deviate sexual assault and aggravated kidnapping in 1983. As required by Illinois law, he registered as a sex offender for 10 years. In 2011, Illinois amended its Sex Offender Registration Act to define as a “sexual predator” a person who had been convicted of any felony offense after July 1, 2011, and had been required to register as a sex offender under a conviction that required registration for more than 10 years. When Johnson was convicted of felony theft in 2013, he became a “sexual predator,” required, for the rest of his life, to register in person several times a year and to give authorities his email address, any internet communications identity, any URL registered to him, and any new blogs or internet sites he maintains and to which he has posted. The district court dismissed Johnson’s challenge to the law. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, first rejecting a challenge to Johnson’s standing based on his move to Wisconsin. Johnson is free from most of the restrictions imposed by Illinois law, but the sexual predator classification imposed in Illinois continues to affect him even in Wisconsin. Rejecting an ex post facto challenge, the court stated that the Act does not apply retroactively; it does not change or increase the penalty for his 1983 rape conviction. View "Johnson v. Madigan" on Justia Law