Justia Constitutional Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Nebraska Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court denying Appellant's motion for postconviction relief without holding an evidentiary hearing, holding that Appellant's counsel did not provide ineffective assistance. Appellant pled no contest to second degree murder and use of a firearm to commit a felony. Appellant later filed an amended motion for postconviction relief asserting two claims of ineffective assistance of counsel. The district court denied the motion without an evidentiary hearing, holding that Defendant did not allege sufficient facts and that the record affirmatively disproved his claims. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the facts alleged were insufficient to show deficient conduct by trial counsel and that the record affirmatively disproved Defendant's allegations. View "State v. Privett" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction of two counts of first degree sexual assault of a child and one count of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, holding that the evidence was sufficient to support Defendant's convictions and that Defendant failed to sufficiently allege ineffective assistance of counsel. On appeal, Defendant asserted that there was insufficient evidence to support his convictions and that his trial counsel was ineffective. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding that Defendant's first assignment of error was without merit and that Defendant failed to allege ineffective assistance of counsel was sufficient particularity. View "State v. Sinkey" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court denying Appellant's motion for postconviction relief following an evidentiary hearing, holding that the district court did not err in denying Appellant's motion for postconviction relief. Appellant pled no contest to first degree assault and tampering with a witness and was sentenced to fifty to fifty years' imprisonment. Following the denial of his direct appeal, Petitioner initiated this postconviction proceeding, alleging that he received ineffective assistance of counsel at both the trial and appellate levels. The district court denied relief. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellant's claims were either without merit or that Appellant failed to establish prejudice. View "State v. Beehn" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's convictions of murder in the first degree, use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony, and possession of a deadly weapon by a prohibited person, holding that the district court did not err in failing to suppress cell phone data content acquired through the execution of a search warrant. On appeal, Defendant argued that the search warrant was unsupported by probable cause and was insufficiently particular. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding (1) the search warrant was supported by probable cause and met the particularity requirement of the Fourth Amendment and article I, 7 of the Nebraska Constitution; and (2) therefore, the district court did not err in refusing to suppress evidence obtained through the execution of the warrant. View "State v. Goynes" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction and sentence for one count of attempted possession fo a controlled substance, a Class I misdemeanor, holding that the district court did not err or abuse its discretion. Specifically, the Court held (1) the district court did not err in finding that Defendant made a free, voluntary, knowing, and intelligent plea; (2) the district court did not err in accepting the plea because it did not violate double jeopardy where Defendant waived his rights in the plea agreement; (3) the district court did not abuse its discretion in sentencing Defendant to a term of incarceration; and (4) Defendant did not receive ineffective assistance of trial counsel. View "State v. Manjikian" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court convicting Defendant of first degree murder and use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony, holding that there was no plain error with regard to the prosecutor's opening statement or a witness's invocation of Fifth Amendment privilege in the jury's presence and that Defendant's claims of ineffective assistance of trial counsel were without merit. Specifically, the Court held (1) no prosecutorial misconduct occurred during opening statements; (2) the bill of exceptions did not show that the prosecutor knew a witness would assert a testimonial privilege in the jury's presence; (3) expert testimony regarding blood spatter evidence was neither irrelevant nor unfairly prejudicial; and (4) therefore, trial counsel did not provide ineffective assistance by failing to object to the prosecutor's opening statement, failing to demand compliance with Neb. Evid. R. 513(2) and failing to challenge the blood spatter evidence. View "State v. Munoz" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction and sentence for first degree sexual assault, holding there was no merit to Defendant's assignments of error. On appeal, Defendant argued, among other things, that counsel was ineffective for failing to object to the authenticity for "Snapchat" evidence and that the prosecutor committed misconduct by commenting on Defendant's use of an interpreter. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the "Snapchat" evidence was properly authenticated, and therefore, trial counsel did not perform deficiently in failing to object to it; (2) there was no plain error in the prosecutor's closing argument; (3) there was no error in Defendant's assignments alleging that the evidence was insufficient and that his sentence was excessive; and (4) the record was insufficient to reach Defendant's other ineffective assistance of counsel claims. View "State v. Mrza" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court denying Defendant's motion seeking post conviction relief from his conviction of third degree sexual assault of a child, second offense and sentence of fifty years' imprisonment, holding that Defendant could not prevail on any of his assignments of error. In his motion for postconviction relief Defendant argued that his trial counsel was ineffective at trial and on appeal. The district court denied the motion following an evidentiary hearing. Defendant appealed, asserting various grounds in support of his argument that the district court erred in denying his motion for postconviction relief. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that there was no merit to any of Defendant's arguments on appeal. View "State v. Fuentes" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court imposing an aggregate sentence of forty-two to fifty-five years in prison in connection with Defendant's no contest pleas to possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, attempted first degree assault, and use of a firearm to commit a felony, holding that Defendant's sentences were not excessive, and Defendant's trial counsel was not ineffective. Specifically, the Court held (1) Defendant's claims that his counsel was ineffective for failing to utilize an interpreter when meeting with Defendant and failing to investigate, collect evidence, and interview witnesses were without merit; (2) the record was insufficient to address whether Defendant's counsel was ineffective for failing to file a motion to suppress regarding Defendant's statements to law enforcement officers; and (3) the district court did not abuse its discretion when sentencing Defendant. View "State v. Chairez" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court denying without an evidentiary hearing Appellant’s motion for postconviction relief, holding that the district court did not err in denying postconviction relief without holding an evidentiary hearing. Appellant was convicted of first-degree murder and use of a firearm to commit a felony. In his postconviction motion, Appellant alleged that his trial counsel provided ineffective assistance. The district court denied the motion without a hearing. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that counsel provided effective assistance and that the district court did not err in denying Appellant’s motion for postconviction relief without an evidentiary hearing. View "State v. Martinez" on Justia Law