(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).
Nichols v. State ex. rel. Department of Public Safety, 2017 OK 20 (March 7, 2017): DUI (DPS): Delay of 16 months from the request for hearing on a driver’s license revocation case until the hearing violated speedy trial rights under the Oklahoma Constitution.
Paris LaPriest Powell v. Robert Bradley Miller, No. 16-6026 (10th Cir., March 7, 2017) (Published) (Tymkovich, C.J., Hartz & Phillips) (W.D. Okla., the Hon. Timothy D. DeGiusti): Civil Rights: Interesting civil rights case where former death row inmate sued a former prosecutor for suborning perjury in his capital murder trial. Miller did not appeal the denial of qualified immunity on some claims back in 2013, but sought to appeal a motion to reconsider that was denied three years later. The panel had none of it, dismissing the appeal for lack of jurisdiction.
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).
Michael Damon Rippo v. Renee Baker, Warden, No. 16-6316 (U.S., March 6, 2017) (per curiam): Judicial Bias: Capital murder case out of Nevada where the trial judge was the target of a federal bribery probe in which the local prosecutor’s office played a part in the investigation of the judge. The trial judge refused to recuse, and in this opinion the Court vacated an order from the Nevada Supreme Court denying relief because it applied the wrong legal standard (actual bias is not required; only that there be a probability of actual bias).
Beckles v. United States, No. 15-8544 (U.S., March 6, 2017): Federal Sentencing Guidelines (Crime of Violence): In Johnson v. United States, the Court held that the residual clause (“crime of violence” language) of the ACCA was unconstitutionally vague. The Guidelines contain a similar section that is identically worded. However, the Court held that the advisory Guidelines, unlike the federal statute, is not subject to a vagueness challenge under the Due Process clause.
Pena-Rodriguez v. Colorado, No. 15-606 (U.S., March 6, 2017): Jurors: The no-impeachment rule governing jury deliberations must be displaced when a juror makes a clear statement of racial animus during deliberations.
PATRICK HUNT, Owasso, won an acquittal while representing a police officer accused of using excessive force. Nice work, Patrick!
ROYCE HOBBS, Stillwater, heard “not guilty” verdicts for his client charged with kidnapping, rape and assault with a dangerous weapon, who accepted a guilty verdict on misdemeanor domestic abuse. That is a nice result…I should say, yet another nice result, for Royce. Good job, Royce!
NEW WEB SITE: DOC has launched a newly designed web site, including the Offender Lookup feature that we all use.
DEATH ROW SUICIDE: An inmate on death row in Ohio has apparently committed suicide last week.
NEW PATROL CARS: New patrol cars in Bartlesville equipped with K-9 capability have state of the art heat sensors to prevent deaths from hot cars.
RETIRED: Two police officers have retired from the Lawton Police Department after 30 years on the job—Capt. Craig Akard and Sgt. Steve Handy.
INSANE BOOZING: A new lawmaker in Rhode Island claims to be shocked at the “insane boozing” that goes on by lawmakers there.
ADA CHARGED: Assistant District Attorney Kevin Etherington (Payne County) has been charged with a felony in Oklahoma County, apparently after his estranged ex-wife Aaron Etherington, an assistant district attorney in Oklahoma County, noticed $30.00 of stuff missing from her house after he visited. I wonder who signed the Information in Oklahoma County and decided to besmirch a man’s reputation like that over a petty divorce dispute, and why David Prater would allow this to happen. A felony! I hope he fights it.
NEW CHIEF: Curt Terry has been named the new Chief of Police in Woodward.
ADLER ON THE AIR: Noted criminal defense attorney Tommy Adler sat down with Meg Alexander to talk about expungements.
U.S. ATTORNEYS FIRED: President Trump has fired several U.S. Attorneys holdover from the Obama administration, including Preet Bharara in Manhattan.
A.G. SHAKE-UP: The new A.G. in Oklahoma has announced some shake-ups in the staff.
CHARGES DISMISSED: A man was recently arrested for plotting to shoot District Attorney Craig Ladd in Carter County (Ardmore); however, the charges have been dropped based upon exculpatory evidence and the fact that it appears to have been fabricated.
DOC v. COUNTY JAILS: DOC has canceled contracts with several Oklahoma counties in order to save money. In Cleveland County, the jail is only five years old, but is almost full. Also, the cancelation will cost the LeFlore County Jail about $40,000.00 per month.
LADY G: Sometimes you run across someone you should not mess with. That someone is Lady G.
EXONEREE PAID: A man who spent 14 years in prison for a rape that he did not commit, has finally been compensated by the State after years of stonewalling.
RESIGNS: Gov. Fallin’s General Counsel, Jennifer E. Chance, has resigned.
AMBULANCE: An odd-looking ambulance in Bryan County looks like an all-terrain vehicle.
NEW TEAM: The Pittsburg County Sheriff has created a new Warrant Team.
DISARRAY: The Nowata County Sheriff’s Office is in “disarray” after several resignations.
ARREST: A Muskogee police officer has been arrested on a domestic abuse charge.
INCONSPICUOUS: A Lawton burglary suspect caught the eye of police…as he walked out of a home carrying a large flat-screen TV.
UNLUCKY: A Chicago man beat a murder rap on speedy trial grounds walked out of jail a free man…and was promptly murdered.
PRAISE THE LORD: A woman in Lawton decided to “giver her car some praise” in a church parking lot by doing doughnuts.
DATING FRAUD: An Oklahoma prison inmate demonstrated some entrepreneurial spirit…by using a smuggled cell phone to run a scam dating service.
HOW NOT TO WOO: A man on a Southwest flight from Denver as flirting with a stewardess and decided to throw a ball of paper at her face. She was not amused, signed a complaint, and this moronic lothario was arrested.
ACTUAL AMBULANCE CHASER: We get a bad rap as ambulance chasers, but this lawyer in McAlester, married to a Trooper, used DPS contacts to literally chase ambulances and injured people. She has resigned.
JUVIES: Jacked a car and then crashed it…into a deputy’s house.
COLLEGE: Ahh, to be in college again.
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