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Archive July 2022

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Nevada Takes its Turn on Public Defenseless

The history of Public Defense in Nevada is a storied one, dating back to the 1800's. Following the landmark decision in Gideon, Nevada attempted to start a state-wide office, but as is so often the case, a lack of funding and organization doomed the attempt. 

Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta: States can prosecute crimes committed by non-Native Americans against Native Americans in Indian country

The federal government and states have concurrent jurisdiction to prosecute crimes committed by non-Native Americans against Native Americans in Indian country, the U.S. Supreme Court held June 29 in Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta.

Ruan v. U.S.: Doctors must know prescriptions are unauthorized to violate Sec. 841 of Controlled Substances Act

The Government must prove that a doctor knowingly and intentionally prescribed drugs in an unauthorized manner in order to convict under the Controlled Substances Act, the U.S. Supreme Court held June 27 in Ruan v. United States.

Concepcion v. U.S.: Courts can consider intervening changes in law and fact under First Step Act

District courts considering motions for sentence reduction under the First Step Act may consider intervening changes of law – such as changes to the Sentencing Guidelines – and of fact – such as behavior in prison, the U.S. Supreme Court held June 27 in Concepcion v. United States.

Protecting the Independence of Public Defenders

That kind of interference would never happen in Washington, right? Regrettably, in some Washington jurisdictions, local government officials or local courts have interfered with the independence of public defenders.

Nance v. Ward: Method-of-execution claims should be brought under Sec. 1983, even if alternative method isn’t authorized by state law

A Section 1983 action should be used to bring a method-of-execution claim, even if the petitioner has identified an alternative method of execution not authorized by state law, the U.S. Supreme Court held June 23 in Nance v. Ward.

Cyrus Wilson and Dawn Deaner Discuss Injustice in Nashville

Throughout this entire episode, Cyrus and Dawn unveiled just how easy it is for our system to indifferently cast aside a human life based on the biases and cruelty of those in the legal profession. Yet, the resolve and courage that Cyrus displayed thorough it all truly left me in awe.

Vega v. Tekoh: Miranda violations do not support Sec. 1983 actions

Section 1983 actions cannot be brought for violation of Miranda rights, the U.S. Supreme Court held June 23 in Vega v. Tekoh. Terence Tekoh, who worked as a nursing assistant, was suspected of sexual abusing a patient. Deputy Carlos Vega, of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, questioned him and obtained an incriminating statement, without giving Miranda rights.

Mark Stephens on Public Defenseless Podcast

As one of the few remaining places in the country that still elect their public defenders, Tennessee possesses a unique culture and unique challenges. With the help of people like Mark, places like Knoxville were able to foster a positive culture for indigent defense representation and a forward thinking infrastructure plan that envisioned what a public defender office could be. 

U.S. v. Taylor: Attempted Hobbs Act robbery not a “crime of violence” under ACCA

Attempted Hobbs Act robbery is not a “crime of violence” under the Armed Career Criminal Act, so cannot enhance sentence, the U.S. Supreme Court held June 21 in United States v. Taylor.
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