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Criminal Law

4th Cir.: Search of “sexting” suspect unreasonable (access required)

Even acting pursuant to a warrant, a police detective was not entitled to qualified immunity for compelling a teenager to perform a sexual act. Background In 2014, Manassas police detective David E. Abbott investigated allegations that 17-year-old Plaintiff T. Sims ...

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4th Cir.: Continuing “indifference” extends limitations period (access required)

When inmates sue under § 1983 for prison officials’ disregard of a serious and ongoing medical need, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the date, if any, on which adequate treatment is provided. Background Appellant Eric ...

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4th Cir.: Officer lacked reasonable suspicion of drug crime (access required)

An officer lacked reasonable suspicion to prolong an early-morning traffic stop, despite the apparent nervousness of the driver and passenger, the driver’s claim that he’d just purchased the vehicle despite being unemployed, and evidence of a long-distance trip inconsistent with ...

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SCV: 1978 conviction vacated for actual innocence (access required)

Considering amendments to Virginia’s actual-innocence statutes, no rational factfinder would have found the petitioner guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Background In 1977, 12-year-old A.C. was brought to the emergency room by her mother. A.C. reported being raped by multiple assailants ...

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SCV: Front-yard noose display was in a “public place” (access required)

A black mannequin hanging from a noose in the defendant’s front yard was in a “public place” because it was clearly visible from a public road. Background Appellant Jack Eugene Turner lived on property adjoining a public road. Several other ...

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4th Cir.: SC involuntary manslaughter can be non-violent (access required)

The defendant’s prior conviction for involuntary manslaughter in South Carolina did not qualify as a “violent felony” under the Armed Career Criminal Act. Background Appellant Jarnaro Carlos Middleton pled guilty to being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition. ...

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4th Cir.: Intervenor’s claim to seized cash not plausible (access required)

A man alleging that $200,000 found in a storage unit was his life savings did not have standing to claim it in a civil-forfeiture proceeding, as his financial difficulties contradicted his ability to save such a sum. Background In 2014, ...

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