(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State v. James Leonard Martinez, No. S-2015-446 (Okl.Cr., December 8, 2015) (unpublished): State Appeals; Standard of Review; Search and Seizure (Traffic Stops): In this drug case out of Comanche County, the Hon. Gerald F. Neuwirth granted a motion to suppress, and the State appealed. The Court affirmed in this opinion, finding that the officer conducting the traffic stop mis-construed the mud-flap statute (a mistake of law) and illegally effected the traffic stop.
State v. Kendall Wayne Edwards, No. PC-2015-6 (Okl.Cr., December 3, 2015) (unpublished): State PC: In this State appeal, the grant of post-conviction relief in a murder case based upon IAC and newly discovered evidence by the Hon. Kenneth C. Watson (Oklahoma County), is affirmed. As to the claim of IAC, the Court found that it was procedurally barred. However, as to the claim of newly discovered evidence (new testimony from a witness), the Court affirmed by a vote of 3-2 (Judges Lumpkin and Hudson, dissenting).
United States v. Mark Jordan, No. 15-1046 (10th Cir., November 20, 2015) (Published) (Lucero, Holmes & Matheson): Motion for New Trial: A Rule 33 motion for new trial based upon DNA evidence and new testimony of a confession by another person is denied.
United States v. Iqbal Makkar, No. 14-5147 (10th Cir., November 23, 2015) (Published) (Tymkovich, C.J., Gorsuch & McHugh) (N.D. Okla., Hon. Claire v. Eagan): Jury Instructions (Scienter): A small town convenience store was targeted for selling incense illegally. Convictions under the Analogous Act, money laundering, and conspiracy are reversed because of jury instructions regarding the mens rea of the Analogous Act which lessened the burden of proof.
United States v. Blake Douglas Snowden, No. 15-1107 (10th Cir., November 27, 2015) (Published) (Tymkovich, C.J., Hartz & Baldock): Federal Sentencing Guidelines (Loss Calculations): Convictions and sentences for unlawfully obtaining information from a protected computer and intercepting e-mails are affirmed over a claim relating to the loss calculation by the district court.
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.
OTHER CASES OF NOTE
United States v. Rene Garcia, No. 14-40520 (5th Cir., August 14, 2015): Federal Sentencing Guidelines (Notice): Sentence for possession of dangerous weapon in connection with a drug offense is vacated when the district court relied upon testimony that the judge heard in another criminal proceeding without notice to Garcia.
United States v. Kenneth Bowen, et al., No. 13-31078 (5th Cir., August 18, 2015): Motion for New Trial; Prosecutorial Misconduct: During the trial of police officers who shot and killed civilians in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, a motion for a new trial is granted where “no less than three high-ranking federal prosecutors are known to have been posting online, anonymous comments to newspaper articles about the case throughout” the duration of the trials.
Han Tak Lee v. Superintendent, No. 14-3876 (3rd Cir., August 19, 2015): Arson: Grant of habeas relief in a case involving conviction of Lee for murdering his daughter is affirmed where arson investigation science used at trial has since become discredited.
JUDICIAL REVIEW: In a DUI/Manslaughter case out of Tulsa, Judge James Caputo sentenced the defendant to life imprisonment. However, during a judicial review, Judge Caputo reduced the sentence to five years.
AWARDS: At the Oklahoma County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association meeting and Christmas party last week, Charlie Cox was awarded the Robert A. Manchester Award; and Al Hoch presented the Barry Albert Award to Randy Evers. Congratulations to Charlie and Randy!
ARMED: In the wake of mass shootings, the Bryan County Sheriff is encouraging citizens to arm themselves; and the Stephens County Sheriff is asking citizens with concealed-carry licenses to carry; and the Washington County Sheriff has reported that “active shooter classes” are booked through February.
THIRD SENTENCING: Murder defendant Victor Miller has been fighting his case for years, having been sentenced to death twice. At his third re-sentencing, he gave up his right to further appeals and was sentenced to LWOP.
THE TEXAS LAW HAWK: Commercials for Texas Lawyer Bryan Wilson have gone viral, even though some lawyers in Texas have criticized them.
NEW JUDGE: A third judge in Tulsa County, the Hon. Bill Musseman, has been assigned to preside over the trial of former reserve deputy Robert Bates.
WARDEN RESIGNS: Warden Burl Cain of the infamous Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola is set to resign amid investigations into his “side business dealings.”
NEW WARDEN: The new interim-warden at OSP is Jerry Chrisman, the current warden at Jackie Brannon Correctional Center.
PITTSBURG COUNTY: Editorial details how the criminal justice system in Pittsburg County is “broken”; also, in the Angela Marcum case, the former Drug Court Coordinator, defense lawyers have filed a motion for the A.G. to attend court so that a plea could be entered.
APPLICANTS: The vacant position of Oklahoma County Court Clerk has drawn six applicants.
“GOOD SAMARITAN” LAW: A law designed to protect people who call 911 in cases of drug overdoses (which they may have participated in) is expected to be passed next legislative session.
D.A. vs. BURGLAR: Craig County prosecutor Erin Oquin shot a burglar inside her home last week.
COUNCILOR RESIGNS: A city councilor in Bartlesville has resigned when recordings surfaced of her making disparaging remarks about local police officers.
COMMAND CENTER: The city of Medford, yes Medford, has received a donation so that it can purchase an emergency mobile command center.
HOLTZCLAW CONVICTED: In an emotional jury verdict televised live last week, a jury in Oklahoma County convicted ex-police officer Daniel Holtzclaw of 18 of 36 counts of various sex crimes against multiple women; also, District Attorney David Prater blamed the defense for striking blacks from the jury panel which resulted in an all-white jury.
VICTIM’S TREE: The District Attorney in Okmulgee has made preparations for the Eighth Annual Victim’s Tree for Okmulgee County.
BLANCHARD: The city council in Blanchard is looking into abolishing the police department altogether amid corruption complaints.
An OKC man saw that someone had parked in his assigned apartment parking space, so he flattened all the tires; the two original shirts worn on the TV show “Adam-12” are on display at the Midwest City P.D.; a man in Muskogee stole pills from a pharmacy—30,000 of them; an argument in Tulsa over Kool-Aid and jewelry resulted in a stabbing; a man making a court appearance in Rogers County decided to hide his stash—outside the courthouse; this is about an ill-conceived armed robbery as you will ever hear; someone took a pot shot at an ambulance in OKC; and a man in OKC is accused of going on a big-rig binge by stealing semis.
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