(with special thanks to Mark Hoover, OIDS, for contributing regularly)
“I have lived my life, and I have fought my battles, not against the weak and the poor—anybody can do that—but against power, against injustice, against oppression, and I have asked no odds from them, and I never shall.”—-Clarence S. Darrow, Attorney for the Damned 491, 497 (Arthur Weinberg ed. 1957).
State v. Nathan Charles Nelson, 2015 OK CR 10 (September 18, 2015): Resisting Arrest; State Appeals; Search and Seizure (Exclusionary Rule): Special Judge Bill Hiddle granted a motion to quash an arrest and suppressed evidence stemming from a traffic stop, ruling that the stop was invalid and also that no charge of resisting could be had because it is not unlawful to resist an unlawful arrest. The State appealed, and in this opinion the Court reversed in part. First, the Court held that the trial court did not err in holding that the initial traffic stop was illegal. This is one of those cases where only the patrol car and the accused are on the road and the accused failed to signal (was traffic affected?) However, just because the stop was illegal, this does not mean that suppression of all evidence is warranted, and the Court held that Nelson’s resisting arrest was an independent act which purged the taint of the illegal stop. Also, the Court refused to extend the right to resist an illegal arrest to investigatory traffic stops. NOTE: The Court noted that the prosecutors dropped the ball by not producing enough evidence to support the stop, and also of not relying on a municipal ordinance as an alternative ground. Also, the Court made clear, and the importance of this case seems to be, that motorists cannot resist even illegal traffic stops.
UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT
“Only Supreme Court justices and schoolchildren are expected to and do take the entire summer off.” –Chief Justice John Roberts (statement made while he served as a lawyer in the Reagan Administration).
No new cases.
ERIC GRANTHAM & RUSSELL USELTON, McAlester, managed to convince a judge in McAlester to dismiss all felony charges against the former Drug Court Coordinator. The legal basis is sketchy, but the result is terrific, even though the State has announced intent to appeal. So, we will be on the lookout for that opinion, but in the meantime, good job, Eric and Russel!
MERLE GILE, OKC, won a huge victory recently in Grady County in a possession of child porn case. Terrific job, Merle!
JARROD STEVENSON, OKC & Newkirk, scored another jury trial win in Kay County, this time representing a client charged with two counts of assault and battery on a police officer. Nice win, Jarrod!
MEDIATOR SELECTED: Former Attorney General Susan Loving has been selected to mediate the ongoing dispute between county commissioners and supports of a children’s justice center in El Reno.
SHERIFF MILITARIZATION: Beckham County Sheriff Scott Jay addressed concerns from citizens concerning the acquisition by his department of a military vehicle that is MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected).
LOCKDOWN LIFTED: DOC is slowly lifting lockdown conditions statewide stemming from an incident at Cimarron Correctional Facility in Watonga. The incident at Cimarron, which spilled over to other prisons, was the result of a feud between prison gangs.
SUICIDE CALLS: The Mayes County Sheriff has reported a significant increase in the number of suicide calls.
EVIDENCE BREACH: An evidence storage room in Tulsa was breached by an inmate who keistered some drugs.
PRIVATIZED HEALTH: The Marshall County Jail has privatized health care to inmates. This experiment is worth tracking to see how it works out.
ANTI-GRAFFITI: A special paint has been employed in south OKC to combat graffiti.
DIRECTOR NAMED: The Supreme Court has hired former Lt. Gov. Jari Askins as the new Administrative Director of the Courts.
D.A. ON GLOSSIP: Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater had some pointed words for the defense team trying to save a death row inmate.
RHUI—riding horse under the influence, which as the accused said, it saves a DUI and the horse knows the way home!; this woman visited her sex-offender husband at the jail, decides to expose herself, and ends up arrested, too; if you are walking down the road with a meth pipe in your pocket, best not to ask the police for a ride;
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