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Dearborn pled guilty to distributing crack cocaine, 21 U.S.C. 841(a)(1) & 846.. In 2015, the Seventh Circuit remanded for correction of certain conditions of supervised release. In a second appeal, Dearborn argued that during resentencing the court should have reconsidered its earlier denial of a motion to suppress evidence. He claimed that, in describing the investigation in the search warrant application, the officer did not inform the warrant judge that one of the controlled buys might have occurred one day later than specified in the search warrant application; the police might have used an unduly suggestive procedure in obtaining an identification of Dearborn from an informant; the informants had criminal histories and received compensation for helping the police; and certain audio and video recordings referred to in the application were of poor quality. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, concluding that Dearborn waived that argument. The court noted that Dearborn did not ask to withdraw his guilty plea and that his arguments “could have been raised earlier” and were irrelevant to the re-sentencing proceedings. Dearborn has not shown that extraordinary circumstances required the district court to reconsider its earlier denial of a Franks hearing. View "United States v. Dearborn" on Justia Law

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At issue in this appeal was whether the trial court in Ascencion Salgado-Mendoza's trial for driving under the influence abused its discretion by refusing to suppress the testimony of the State's toxicology witness. The State initially disclosed the names of nine toxicologists, indicating it intended to call "one of the following" to testify. The State eventually whittled the list down to three names the day before trial, but did not specify which toxicologist it would call until the morning of trial. Salgado-Mendoza moved to suppress the toxicologist's testimony under CrRLJ 8.3(b) based on late disclosure. The trial court refused, finding no actual prejudice to the defense and observing that the practice of disclosing a list of available toxicologists rather than a specific witness was driven more by underfunding of the crime labs than trial mismanagement. The superior court found the trial court abused its discretion and the Court of Appeals affirmed, holding the delayed disclosure violated the discovery rules and caused prejudice. The Washington Supreme Court disagreed, finding that while the State's disclosure practice may have amounted to mismanagement, Salgado-Mendoza did not demonstrate actual prejudice to justify suppression. View "Washington v. Salgado-Mendoza" on Justia Law

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In 2015, after attempting to steal a riding lawnmower, Joshua Barnes was arrested and charged with theft of a motor vehicle. He filed a motion to dismiss, claiming that a riding lawnmower was not a "motor vehicle" under RCW 9A.56.065. The Washington Supreme Court's plain reading of the statute found that a riding lawn mower could conceivably have contemplated a riding lawn mower. However, the Court found the Washington Legislature intended otherwise. "Because the act itself denotes a restrained definition, we find that as a matter of law, a riding lawn mower is not a 'motor vehicle' for the purposes of the theft-of-a-motor-vehicle statute." View "Washington v. Barnes" on Justia Law

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Conn. Gen. Stat. 18-98d requires that if a person serving a term of imprisonment exercises his constitutional right to pursue a double jeopardy claim on a charge for which the sentence may run concurrently, that person is entitled, in any sentence subsequently imposed, to a reduction based on such presentence confinement in accordance with the provisions of the statute. The Supreme Court reversed in part the judgment of the habeas court that denied Petitioner’s amended petition for a writ of habeas corpus, which alleged, among other things, that the calculation of his presentence confinement credit was incorrect. The Supreme Court held that interpreting section 18-98d so as to deny Petitioner presentence confinement credit for the time he was pursuing a double jeopardy appeal would render the application of that statute to him unconstitutional. View "James v. Commissioner of Correction" on Justia Law

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A state court's alteration of the number of presentence credits to which a prisoner was entitled under California law constitutes a new, intervening judgment under Wentzell v. Neven, 674 F.3d 1124, 1125 (9th Cir. 2012). The Ninth Circuit reversed the dismissal of a California state prisoner's habeas corpus petition and remanded for further proceedings. In this case, the amendment to the judgment was clearly a new judgment under Magwood v. Patterson, 561 U.S. 320, 341–42 (2010). The panel explained, so too, with the amendment to petitioner's presentence credits, and thus to his sentence. View "Gonzalez v. Sherman" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs, three officers of Latino descent, filed suit against the City and Westminster Police Chiefs, alleging claims of discrimination and retaliation on the basis of race and religion. The jury awarded plaintiffs general and punitive damages, as well as attorney fees and costs. The panel held that the district court properly denied the City's motion for a new trial and renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law on the issue of whether Plaintiff Flores failed to establish his claim of retaliation in violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), Cal. Gov't Code 12900–12996. In this case, the evidence at trial would permit a trier of fact to conclude he was subjected to adverse employment actions, that his protected conduct was a substantial motivating factor behind the adverse employment actions, and that the City's proffered reasons for its actions were pretextual. Accordingly, the panel affirmed as to this issue and also affirmed the jury's award of damages to Officer Flores on the FEHA retaliation claim. The panel further held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in regard to evidentiary rulings, and the jury's verdict against two police chiefs for race discrimination was not fatally inconsistent. However, the panel vacated the judgment against Chief Mitchell Waller, who died before trial, and remanded to the district court to grant two officers leave to substitute the Chief's estate under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 25(a)(1). View "Flores v. City of Westminster" on Justia Law

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Adams, 71, has been addicted to opiates for most of his life and has an extensive criminal history. In 2011, Adams pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, 21 U.S.C. 846 and 841(a)(1). After serving his custodial sentence, Adams began supervised release in July 2015. Starting in October 2015, Adams repeatedly tested positive for opiates.The Probation Office placed Adams in multiple drug-treatment programs, without success. After Adams tested positive for opiates three times between October 24 and November 15, 2016, the Probation Office filed another violation report. Following Adams’s failure of another drug test on November 30, it filed an amended report. At his hearing, Adams admitted that he unlawfully used controlled substances. The Guidelines range for the violation was incarceration of 21 to 27 months. After extensive discussion of Adams’s substance-abuse and the failure of treatment programs, the district court revoked Adams’s supervised release and sentenced him to 18 months of incarceration with no period of supervision to follow. The Sixth Circuit vacated the sentence. The court violated Adams’s due-process right when it based his sentence on unreliable information about rehabilitation and violated Supreme Court precedent, Tapia v. United States (2011), when it considered rehabilitation as a factor when calculating the length of incarceration. View "United States v. Adams" on Justia Law

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Garcia was dating Delgadillo’s ex-wife when Delgadillo’s daughter suffered bruises and complained that Garcia had hit her. Delgadillo called the police. Three weeks later, as Delgadillo was watching football with Lanford, Lanford questioned Delgadillo about calling the police and invited him out to smoke. Outside, Delgadillo saw Garcia, Pettie, and another man. Someone called Delgadillo a “cop caller” and Delgadillo was attacked. Delgadillo saw Garcia point a pistol at him, but otherwise did not specifically identify which men personally participated in the attack. After suffering injuries, Delgadillo ran away. He heard gunshots as he fled. Garcia, Lanford and Pettie were convicted of attempted murder, assault, and witness dissuasion, with gang and firearm enhancements. The court of appeal reversed, first rejecting claims of failure to bifurcate, Brady violation, juror bias, prosecutorial misconduct, and insufficient evidence, including a claim of insufficient evidence that the defendants belonged to a unitary gang. Defendants’ claim that the admission of testimonial hearsay through the prosecution’s gang expert violated their confrontation rights required reversal of the findings on gang enhancements; did not require reversal of the Garcia and Lanford convictions for attempted murder and assault; required reversal on all counts as to Pettie. The court also failed its sua sponte duty to give the “mere presence” portion of CALCRIM No. 401 with respect to Pettie’s role in aiding and abetting and failed to instruct the jury on the requisite mens rea for witness dissuasion View "People v. Pettie" on Justia Law

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The district court erred by concluding that particularized suspicion did not exist for the investigatory stop of Defendant. The Supreme Court reversed the order of the district court reversing the municipal court’s order denying Defendant’s motion to suppress evidence related to his arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). The district court concluded that the trial court’s finding that Defendant was apprehended for a technical violation was clearly erroneous. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding (1) the district court erred in finding from the evidence that Defendant was stopped for “alleged behavior,” which required its own assessment and speculation about the record; and (2) there was substantial evidence in the record to support the municipal court’s findings of fact about the reasons that Defendant’s vehicle was stopped. View "City of Helena v. Brown" on Justia Law

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In this 42 U.S.C. 1983 action, the Ninth Circuit reversed the district court's grant of qualified immunity for the sheriff and affirmed the dismissal of claims brought by family members alleging that the sheriff used excessive force when he shot and killed Manuel Longoria. The panel held that the sheriff's credibility or the accuracy of his version of the facts was a central question that had to be answered by a jury. Defendants were not entitled to qualified immunity because there was a material issue of fact as to whether the sheriff violated Longoria's clearly established constitutional right. However, Longoria's family did not have standing to sue on their own behalves. Finally, the panel reversed the grant of summary judgment on plaintiffs' wrongful death claim under Arizona state law, because there was a material dispute of facts as to the use of reasonable deadly force. View "Longoria v. Pinal County" on Justia Law