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Opinion Digests

Criminal – Racial Bias In Jury Selection – Prior Conviction (access required)

The trial court did not err in allowing the commonwealth to admit the specific nature of defendant’s prior felony conviction for murder for the purpose of proving his status as a convicted felon. Because this evidence was relevant to prove ...

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Criminal Law – Constructive Possession – Cocaine (access required)

Although defendant, who was driving the car which police were pursuing on a tip and which they stopped for an unsignalled lane change, claimed he was unaware of the heroin discovered under clothes in the rear trunk area, there was ...

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Search & Sezure – Investigative Step – Odor Of Alcohol – Open Container (access required)

Although the police officer could not recall any other visible signs of intoxication, other than smelling alcohol on defendant and observing him drinking a beer when the officer came to defendant’s friend’s house on business, the officer nevertheless had a ...

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Workers' Comp – Credibility Of Claimant – Injury By Accident (access required)

Where claimant alleged that her front teeth were dislodged and she hurt her back when pots and pans fell on her from a rack on the wall, the commission did not err in concluding, based on the unexplained inconsistencies between ...

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Criminal – Abduction – Other Crimes – Signature Crime – Modus Operandi (access required)

Where the trial court admitted testimony from another woman who alleged defendant abducted and sexually assaulted her approximately one month before and in a manner similar to the manner in which defendant was alleged to have abducted and assaulted the ...

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Criminal – Voluntariness Of Confession – Deputy's Statements (access required)

Although a deputy questioning defendant about the alleged sexual abuse told him “this is not something that goes out in the public,” and that “the judge likes for me to tape everything,” these statements by the deputy did not render ...

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Search & Seizure – Investigative Stop – Request To Step From Vehicle (access required)

Where defendant initially was stopped by the officer when defendant was identified by a pregnant woman whom defendant had been beating, and after the officer requested defendant to step from his vehicle in order to observe the interaction between defendant ...

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