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Criminal Law

EDVA: Long-detained immigrant entitled to bond hearing (access required)

A Salvadoran immigrant, detained for the past 14 months while he challenges removal, deserves an individual bond hearing to determine whether flight risk or danger to society justifies his prolonged detention. Background Petitioner Jose Rodriguez Portillo first unlawfully entered the ...

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EDVA: Manafort storage-unit docs won’t be suppressed (access required)

The government obtained valid consent to enter a storage unit containing Paul Manafort’s business documents, obtained a valid warrant to seize some of the documents, and properly executed the warrant. Background On May 26, 2017, Special Agent J. Pfeiffer interviewed ...

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4th Cir.: To trigger Simmons, state argument must look forward (access required)

A serial killer, sentenced to death under North Carolina law, did not have a constitutional right to inform his sentencing jury that he was ineligible for parole. This right, which accrues when the prosecutor points to the defendant’s future danger ...

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Va. Cir.: No prejudice resulted from plea agreement withdrawal (access required)

Despite the defendant’s previous waiver of a preliminary hearing related to drug charges against him, he was not entitled to enforcement of an alleged oral plea agreement with a new prosecutor in his case. Background Defendant Sophann Mao was arrested ...

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Va. Cir.: Misdemeanor conviction bars felony records expungement (access required)

Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute – a misdemeanor – is a lesser-included offense of the felony of distribution of more than half an ounce but less than 5 pounds of marijuana. A petitioner convicted of the misdemeanor was ...

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4th Cir.: Court costs not a “penalty” that supports removal (access required)

An immigrant was not rendered ineligible for cancellation of removal based solely on $100 in court costs that he paid after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor. Such costs, which are not discretionary and sometimes are imposed by the court clerk, ...

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4th Cir.: MS-13 murder and related convictions upheld (access required)

Six defendants tried together were properly convicted of murder and attempted murder offenses related to their gang membership. Their convictions were upheld despite challenges to prosecutorial conduct, jury instructions, evidence admitted at trial, joint trial, access to counsel, warrantless cell ...

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EDVA: Due process requires bond hearing for long-detained immigrant (access required)

A Salvadoran immigrant, detained for the past 14 months while he challenges removal, deserves an individual bond hearing to determine whether flight risk or danger to society justifies his prolonged detention. Background Petitioner Jose Rodriguez Portillo first unlawfully entered the ...

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CAV: Marine’s conviction for rape of subordinate affirmed (access required)

The defendant’s Confrontation Clause challenge to the trial court’s evidentiary exclusions under Virginia’s rape-shield law were not raised in the proceedings below and, in any event, did not rise above the level of harmless error. Background Appellant Michael Maldini and ...

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