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Criminal Law

Police didn’t use impermissible ‘two step’ tactic to get confession (access required)

A defendant lost his motion to suppress because the record contained no evidence that law enforcement officers intentionally or deliberately waited to advise him of his rights under Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966) until he admitted to criminal ...

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Manslaughter instruction not required at murder trial (access required)

Assuming, without deciding, that there was sufficient evidence to support a manslaughter instruction at appellant’s first-degree murder trial, any error in failing to given the requested instruction would be harmless. Because the jury returned a first-degree murder verdict, it never ...

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Hearsay evidence of victim’s violent nature inadmissible (access required)

Where appellant offered a self-defense claim to a second-degree murder charge, the trial court properly excluded portions of his police interview containing hearsay statements relating to the victim’s violent reputation. The court allowed appellant to present non-hearsay evidence to bolster ...

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New evidence wouldn’t change outcome of habeas petitions (access required)

Although the defendant argued the commonwealth violated his constitutional rights by failing to produce potentially exculpatory evidence, his petition for a successive habeas petition was denied because he could not demonstrate that newly discovered evidence would have resulted in a ...

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Hearing ordered on forced medication of defendant (access required)

As the government has an important interest in prosecuting a defendant charged with the premeditated murder of his cellmate, there will be a hearing to determine whether the defendant will be forced to take antipsychotic medication to restore his competency ...

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Forged check is basis for identity theft charge (access required)

Where appellant made a stolen check payable to herself, forged the check owner’s signature, used her own driver’s license as identification but left the bank before completing the transaction, she was properly charged with attempted identity theft. Identifying information “Code ...

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Accommodation defense rejected in heroin case (access required)

The circuit court correctly rejected appellant’s accommodation defense, which would have entitled him to a lesser punishment for possessing heroin with intent to distribute. The accommodation evidence offered was unrelated to the transaction for which he was convicted. Background Appellant ...

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