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Tag Archives: Judge Pamela A. Harris

4th Cir.: Free expression not chilled by school’s initial inquiry (access required)

A university did not restrict or chill students’ speech by seeking their response to complaints that they had harassed others. The students, who’d sought and obtained university approval for a campus “Free Speech Event,” met with an official to discuss ...

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4th Cir.: Slurs read aloud didn’t create hostile environment (access required)

A prosecutor who read racial slurs aloud from potential evidence, which he was evaluating at a pre-trial meeting, did not create a hostile work environment for the black police officers in the room. Even if such conduct could give rise ...

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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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4th Cir.: Court didn’t explain rejection of mental health mitigation (access required)

When asked to impose a shorter sentence based on the defendant’s well-documented history of mental illness, the sentencing court was required to explain why it rejected such mitigation. Defense counsel had argued that the defendant’s multiple death threats sent to ...

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4th Cir.: Forensic search of gun smuggler’s phone reasonable (access required)

Although a forensic search of a digital phone is a “non-routine” border search that requires an individualized suspicion of illegal activity, CBP agents had such reasonable suspicion when they seized a suspected weapons smuggler’s phone and extracted communications data and ...

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4th Cir.: Board didn’t explain change in deportation standard (access required)

A Board of Immigration Appeals decision effectively adopting a new standard for “crimes involving moral turpitude” could not rely on the new standard without offering good reasons for the change and addressing its retroactive effect. Background Petitioner Pedro Josue Jimenez-Cedillo, ...

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4th Cir.: Arbitrator’s decision mooted injunction appeal (access required)

An employer enjoined from moving its operations could no longer pursue its appeal after an arbitrator’s final decision. The matter was moot, despite the employer’s intention to seek attorneys’ fees. Background Appellant Airgas Inc. operates a facility in Hyattsville, Maryland, ...

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4th Cir.: Prior wounding offense merited enhanced sentence (access required)

By requiring not only the causation of bodily injury but also the specific intent to maim, disfigure, disable, or kill, Virginia unlawful wounding offense necessarily involves the use of violent force or, at minimum, the attempted or threatened use of ...

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Persecution targeting family prevents removal (access required)

Petitioner Reynaldo Salgado-Sosa, a native citizen of Honduras, seeks asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture. According to testimony found credible by the Immigration Judge, Salgado-Sosa and his family operated two small businesses out of their ...

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