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Criminal Law

Va. Cir.: Hearing on forensic testing is ex parte, but order is not (access required)

A capital murder defendant who sought forensic testing of certain evidence was entitled to present his argument to the court ex parte under Code § 9.1-1104. But the statute does not authorize ex parte status for the resulting order as ...

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CAV: Counsel’s appearance suggests client knew trial date (access required)

Timely notice of the required appearance date is not an element of felony failure-to-appear. In this case, notice could be inferred from the defendant’s presence in court (with counsel) when the continuance date was announced and by his counsel’s appearance ...

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WDVA: Counsel disqualified for past representation of key witness (access required)

Despite informed consent from both clients, a defendant’s attorney was disqualified from representing her on a drug charge because he had previously represented a material witness for the government. Background In a prior criminal drug prosecution, Defendant Lauren Hoback’s defense ...

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4th Cir.: Longtime resident removable based on old drug offense (access required)

After a trip to his native U.K., a lawful permanent resident in the U.S. was denied admission upon his return, based on a seven-year-old conviction for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance. His removal order was ...

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EDVA: Hate-crime law unconstitutional as applied to Amazon worker (access required)

An Amazon warehouse employee who beat up a coworker based on the victim’s sexual orientation couldn’t be convicted of a federal hate crime, though the jury delivered a guilty verdict. The act didn’t affect interstate commerce and, thus, was outside ...

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SCV: Miranda warning written in Spanish was effective (access required)

Evidence was sufficient to conclude that a Spanish-speaking defendant waived his Miranda rights prior to a police interview. He was given the written warning in Spanish, asked by an interpreter if he understood it, and read it back to officers. Background Detective ...

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CAV: News article on prior trial not testimonial; admissible (access required)

At a defendant’s probation revocation hearing, the circuit court properly admitted information about the defendant’s most recent convictions as reported in a news article read by the prosecutor. The article was written to inform the public, not in anticipation of ...

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4th Cir.: Juror’s voir dire omission demands further inquiry (access required)

In a habeas challenge brought by a defendant on death row for the murder of a Norfolk law enforcement officer, an evidentiary hearing is necessary to determine whether juror bias tainted the conviction. Despite a straightforward inquiry by trial counsel, ...

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