Jul 10, 2018

WDVA: VDOC dentist must refer inmate for oral care

An inmate was entitled to partial injunctive relief related to his ongoing pain after another prisoner broke his jaw. Dental care to date has not ameliorated his pain or ability to chew food, and he is entitled to further evaluation. Background A fellow inmate broke Plaintiff Emmitt Roscoe’s jaw in February 2017, damaging a nerve. […]

Jul 10, 2018

4th Cir.: MS-13 murder and related convictions upheld

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 record access, and sentencing of young defendants without consideration of mitigating factors. Backgr[...]

Jul 6, 2018

EDVA: Due process requires bond hearing for long-detained immigrant

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 U.S. in 2007 after his cousin was murdered and his aunt received death threats. He […]

Jun 29, 2018

CAV: Marine’s conviction for rape of subordinate affirmed

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 M.L. were both U.S. Marines. Maldini was far senior in rank to M.L. and was […]

Jun 29, 2018

WDVA: Dog rescuer can proceed on claims for larceny accusations

A woman charged with theft after she refused to return an emaciated dog to its owner sufficiently stated several constitutional and state tort claims against an animal control officer and his supervisor. Background In December 2017, Plaintiff Christen Waddle encountered an emaciated dog running loose in the middle of the road. The dog was “lethargic […]

Jun 29, 2018

EDVA: Special Counsel authorized to prosecute Manafort

Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller’s jurisdiction, as set forth in his Appointment Order and in a subsequent memorandum from the Acting Attorney General, encompasses prosecution of Donald Trump’s former campaign manager for bank fraud and tax charges that involve connections with pro-Russian actors. Background This multi-count indictment charging Defendant Paul Manafort with various bank fraud [...]

Jun 29, 2018

EDVA: Districts’ black voter thresholds lack justification

Race predominated over traditional districting factors in construction of 11 challenged Virginia House of Delegates districts. This use of race was not narrowly tailored to achieve the interest of complying with the Voting Rights Act. Thus, the district divisions are unconstitutional and must be redrawn. Background Following the 2010 census, the legislature redrew the 100 […]

Jun 29, 2018

4th Cir.: Vets’ tort claims against contractor not justiciable

Waste and water management systems in Iraq and Afghanistan were operationally controlled by the military, not its contractor. Thus, mass tort claims for harms caused by the contractors’ alleged environmental mismanagement were barred by the political question doctrine. Background As part of its military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, the U.S. Army awarded Defendant KBR […]

Jun 29, 2018

4th Cir.: Tip from identifiable source supported seizure

Officers acting in part on a tip from a 911 caller who gave only his first name had a reasonable articulable suspicion that the defendant had committed a crime, based on corroborating facts the officers discovered at the scene. The district court erred in considering the defendant’s race at the suppression hearing, but the error […]

Jun 29, 2018

4th Cir.: Juvenile D.C. sniper to be resentenced under Miller

The younger “D.C. sniper,” who was a teenager when he was convicted of several murders and related crimes, must be resentenced following retroactive constitutional standards for juvenile punishment, established subsequent to his sentencing. Background During about seven weeks in 2002, Appellant Lee Malvo and John Muhammad – better known as the “D.C. snipers” – murdered […]

Jun 29, 2018

SCOTUS: Second trial didn’t violate Double Jeopardy, preclusion

A defendant who agrees to have the charges against him considered in two trials cannot later argue successfully that the second trial offends the Fifth Amendment. Background This case began when police dredged up a safe full of guns from a Virginia river. Paul Garrison, the safe’s owner, had reported it stolen from his home. […]

Jun 29, 2018

Va. Cir.: Ex parte hearing granted, but before different judge

An indigent defendant facing two life sentences for rape and related offenses can argue ex parte why he requires expert assistance, but he must make his case to a circuit judge other than the one presiding over the case. Background Defendant Nigel Stockton, an indigent defendant with appointed counsel, is charged with rape, abduction with […]

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