by
In 2006, police arrested defendant Daniel Marquez in Ventura County on a drug possession offense. Without his consent, authorities collected Marquez’s DNA sample and entered his DNA profile into a statewide database. Marquez was never charged with the drug offense. In 2008, investigators retrieved DNA evidence from an Orange County robbery, and that evidence matched Marquez’s DNA profile in the database. Police contacted Marquez, and with his consent they collected a second DNA sample, which matched the DNA evidence from the robbery. The State filed two robbery counts and a related offense. The trial court denied Marquez’s motion to suppress the DNA evidence, and a jury convicted him of the charged offenses. The court sentenced Marquez to 25 years to life in state prison, plus an additional 15 years for three alleged prior serious felony convictions. The Court of Appeal held that the 2006 collection of Marquez’s DNA sample was unlawful under the Fourth Amendment; the prosecution failed to prove that Marquez was validly arrested or that his DNA was collected as part of a routine booking procedure. However, the trial court properly admitted the 2008 DNA evidence under a well-established exception to the exclusionary rule: the attenuation doctrine. Additionally, due to a recent statutory change, the Court remanded for the trial court to consider striking the additional punishment for Marquez’s three prior serious felony convictions. The Court also ordered the trial court to modify Marquez’s custody credits. In all other respects, the judgment was affirmed. View "California v. Marquez" on Justia Law

by
Melinda Strom appealed an amended criminal judgment and order for restitution. Strom pled guilty to misapplication of entrusted property in excess of $50,000 in violation of N.D.C.C. 12.1-23-07(1). Strom was sentenced to five years, all suspended for three years of supervised probation. Strom argued the district court abused its discretion in awarding restitution because it did not consider her ability to pay as required by N.D.C.C. 12.1-32-08(1). The North Dakota declared the statute unconstitutional in part and affirmed the restitution order and judgment. The Court concluded the district court did not abuse its discretion in fixing the amount of restitution without regard to the defendant's ability to pay. "To clearly state the scope of this decision, it is necessary to articulate what we do not decide here. In this matter, we examine only an award of restitution and not a contempt hearing or probation revocation for non-payment, and thus we limit consideration of ability to pay only in the context of setting the total amount of restitution. We do not completely preclude consideration of ability to pay. There may be times when such consideration may be appropriate, i.e., when determining the time or manner of payment or whether a defendant's failure to pay is willful." View "North Dakota v. Strom" on Justia Law

by
Michael Foster appealed his conviction on one count of conspiracy to commit criminal mischief, one count of criminal mischief, and one count of criminal trespass. On appeal, Foster argued the district court erred in admitting or excluding certain evidence and that there was insufficient evidence to support the criminal mischief and conspiracy convictions. Finding no reversible error, the North Dakota Supreme Court affirmed the district court's judgment. View "North Dakota v. Foster" on Justia Law

by
MyKennah Lott appealed after she was found guilty of preventing arrest following a bench trial. In January 2017, Lott and an acquaintance were found walking on property owned by the Dakota Access Pipeline. Law enforcement personnel approached the pair and Lott began to "step backwards at a fairly brisk pace" while law enforcement gathered more information. Lott was eventually informed she was under arrest for trespassing. Lott resisted arrest, broke free, and eventually had to be taken to the ground in order to be arrested. After a bench trial, Lott was found guilty of preventing arrest. During sentencing, the district court asked Lott's counsel for a sentencing recommendation. Counsel conferred with Lott and requested fines and fees be waived. Nothing in the record indicated Lott was personally addressed and afforded the opportunity to speak on her behalf during the sentencing phase. On appeal of her conviction and sentence, Lott challenged the sufficiency of the evidence and claimed she was improperly denied an opportunity to address the court during sentencing. The North Dakota Supreme Court affirmed the conviction, vacated the sentence, and remanded for resentencing. View "North Dakota v. Lott" on Justia Law

by
Branden Lyon appealed an amended judgment entered after his convictions for attempted murder, terrorizing, terrorizing-­domestic violence, and illegal possession of a firearm. After review, the North Dakota Supreme Court conclude Lyon's sentence was illegal because the district court did not act within statutorily prescribed sentencing limits. The amended judgment was reversed and the case remanded for resentencing. View "North Dakota v. Lyon" on Justia Law

by
Raymond Christensen appealed his conviction and sentence stemming from charges for leaving the scene of an accident involving injury and aggravated reckless driving. Because the district court substantially relied upon an impermissible factor in sentencing Christensen to jail, the North Dakota Supreme Court vacated the sentence and remanded for resentencing. View "North Dakota v. Christensen" on Justia Law

by
Rainsberger was charged with murdering his elderly mother and was held for two months. He claims that the detective who built the case against him, Benner, submitted a probable cause affidavit that contained lies and omitted exculpatory evidence. When the prosecutor dismissed the case because of evidentiary problems, Rainsberger sued Benner under 42 U.S.C. 1983. The district court denied Benner’s motion, in which he argued qualified immunity. Benner conceded, for purposes of his appeal, that he knowingly or recklessly made false statements in the probable cause affidavit, arguing that knowingly or recklessly misleading the magistrate in a probable cause affidavit only violates the Fourth Amendment if the omissions and lies were material to probable cause. The Seventh Circuit rejected that argument. Materiality depends on whether the affidavit demonstrates probable cause when the lies are taken out and the exculpatory evidence is added in. When that is done in this case, Benner’s affidavit fails to establish probable cause to believe that Rainsberger murdered his mother. Because it is clearly established that it violates the Fourth Amendment “to use deliberately falsified allegations to demonstrate probable cause,” Benner is not entitled to qualified immunity. View "Rainsberger v. Benner" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the circuit court’s judgment in favor of Emilee Williams in this medical malpractice action brought against Mercy Clinic Springfield Communities and Dr. Elene Pilapil, holding that the circuit court improperly deprived Williams of the full value of the jury’s award and erred in striking post-judgment interest. After a jury returned a verdict in favor of Williams the circuit court entered judgment on the verdict for a total amount of $28,911,000. The court then allocated a portion of the future medical damages to periodic payments in accordance with Mo. Rev. Stat. 538.220.2. The Supreme Court remanded the case for entry of a new judgment in accordance with this opinion, holding (1) the application of section 538.220.2 was unconstitutional as applied to Williams because it deprived Williams of the full value of the award and violated her due process rights; and (2) the circuit court did not have the authority to amend the judgment to remove post-judgment interest. View "Williams v. Mercy Clinic Springfield Communities" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the intermediate court of appeals (ICA) vacating the district court’s dismissal of Defendant’s excessive speeding citation and remanded this case for further proceedings, holding that double jeopardy is inapplicable to the civil offense of speeding under its current statutory framework and that Defendant was subject to prosecution for both excessive speeding and speeding. Defendant was concurrently cited for speeding and excessive speeding offenses while driving through two separate speed zones. The district court granted Defendant’s motion to dismiss the excessive speeding charge, concluding that the “lesser included offense” provision of Haw. Rev. Stat. 701-109(1)(a) and the double jeopardy clause barred the State from prosecuting Defendant on the excessive speeding charge. The ICA vacated the district court’s order granting the motion to dismiss, holding that the entry of judgment on Defendant’s noncriminal speeding infraction failed to bar the State from prosecuting him for the crime of excessive speeding. The Supreme Court affirmed and remanded, holding that if the district court finds at trial that the excessive speeding charge arises from the same conduct as the speeding infraction, section 701-109(1)(a) will preclude Defendant’s conviction for excessive speeding. View "State v. Kalua" on Justia Law

by
The Ninth Circuit denied as unnecessary petitioner's application to file a second or successive habeas corpus petition. Petitioner argued that his petition was not second or successive, but rather a first petition challenging a new judgment that added credit for the time he served before sentencing. The panel held that Gonzalez v. Sherman, 873 F.3d 763, 769 (9th Cir. 2017), which held that, under California law, a state court's amended judgment awarding a defendant credit for time served constituted a new judgment, applied to Nevada law. Therefore, petitioner's habeas petition was the first petition challenging his amended judgment. View "Turner v. Baker" on Justia Law