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Criminal Law

Fair trial not affected by use of hearing-impaired juror (access required)

Where the trial judge overseeing the defendant’s trial for first-degree murder and armed robbery was aware of a juror’s hearing impairment, and took steps to address it, including repeatedly questioning the juror and confirming with counsel that they could proceed, ...

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Protective order’s return of service not testimonial (access required)

Where appellant attempted to buy firearms while under an unexpired preliminary protection order, the order’s return of service, which was used at trial to establish an element of the offense, was not “testimonial.” Therefore, appellant’s Sixth Amendment confrontation right was ...

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Jury correctly instructed on uncorroborated testimony (access required)

Where the trial court instructed the jury that it could convict appellant for rape and forcible sodomy solely on the victim’s uncorroborated testimony “if believed,” this was a correct statement of the law. The convictions are affirmed. Background Appellant met ...

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‘Fighting words’ conviction vacated despite epithet (access required)

Where the defendant’s use of the N-word constituted “abusive language” under Virginia’s “fighting words” statute, but the government offered no evidence that two African American individuals responded violently to the hateful slur or that a reasonable person in their positions ...

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Child porn and kidnapping charges won’t be severed (access required)

Where a New Zealand-based defendant was charged with kidnapping and production of child pornography, his motion to sever the charges was denied because they were linked: the production of child pornography led to the attempted kidnapping. Background Troy George Skinner, ...

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Phone search warrant was sufficiently particular (access required)

Where a defendant charged with kidnapping and production of child pornography argued a warrant allowing search of his cellphones was not sufficiently particular, his motion to suppress was denied. The warrant and supporting affidavit specifically identified the items to be ...

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