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Tag Archives: Constitutional

4th Cir.: Tip from identifiable source supported seizure (access required)

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 ...

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4th Cir.: Juvenile D.C. sniper to be resentenced under Miller (access required)

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, ...

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SCOTUS: Second trial didn’t violate Double Jeopardy, preclusion (access required)

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 ...

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Va. Cir.: Ex parte hearing granted, but before different judge (access required)

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 ...

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CAV: Obstruction ordinance not overbroad or vague (access required)

A county ordinance prohibiting hindrance or obstruction of sheriff’s deputies performing their duties was not overbroad or vague, and it was thus a proper basis for the defendant’s conviction on grounds that he fled and hid from officers. Background Loudoun ...

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WDVA: Fired county employee’s First Amendment claim is triable (access required)

A county’s former Director of Tourism presented genuine factual disputes as to whether he was fired in retaliation for his past vote to censure members of the county board of supervisors who voted to raise taxes. Background At a Bedford ...

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EDVA: New SCOTUS ruling doesn’t bar torture claims (access required)

Claims against a U.S. military contractor for its involvement in abuse of Abu Ghraib prison detainees can proceed and are not affected by the U.S. Supreme Court’s April decision in Jesner v. Arab Bank PLC. Background This civil action arises out ...

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4th Cir.: Failure to raise appellate issue was ineffective assistance (access required)

It was unreasonable for the defendant’s prior appellate counsel not to argue that his money laundering convictions were invalid because of a “merger” issue. Thus, the district court should not have denied the defendant’s habeas claim based on ineffective assistance ...

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Va. Cir.: Marijuana odor not supported by body cam footage (access required)

Officers’ recollection that a strong marijuana odor emanated from a vehicle wasn’t consistent with video of their search: The car doors were closed, the marijuana discovered was raw and enclosed, and the officers never mentioned the odor before the search. ...

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4th Cir.: Imprisonment not sufficient to appoint counsel (access required)

The district court did not err in dismissing an inmate’s Eighth Amendment claims or in declining to appoint counsel, but remand is necessary because the lower court failed to address the plaintiff’s state-law medical malpractice claims. Background Plaintiff Steven Banks ...

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