Standards Of Review

How do you know that?

October 7, 2011

Thanks to a tip from burglars, a central California man has been arrested for possession of child pornography.  Two burglars broke into Kraig Stockard’s barn in Merced County and stole 50 CDs they thought were blank.  After placing the CDs in a computer the burglars discovered some of them contained images of child pornography. Even [...]

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Lawyers Fired for Fussing

September 16, 2011

As a criminal appeals and habeas corpus lawyer, I am always interested in unusual courtroom occurrences.  One such situation recently occurred in Fredericksburg, Virginia.  In an extremely rare judicial move, a Virginia Circuit judge removed both the prosecutor and defense attorney from a child abuse case in which the accused is a former sheriff’s deputy.  [...]

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He did what?

April 20, 2011

I am always on the lookout for errors in my client’s conviction which could lead to relief.  A criminal appeals lawyer or habeas corpus lawyer will tell you a common claim presented in criminal appeals is that of ineffective assistance of counsel.   Unlike the United States, lawyers in Canada are required to carry malpractice insurance.  [...]

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A Criminal in General

February 18, 2011

This morning on the radio I heard a commentator refer to a suspect as “a criminal in general.”  It is true that criminal conduct frequently does not occur in isolation.  Conduct is sometimes part of or connected to a series of crimes.  It is important to remember defendants at trial are not charged and convicted [...]

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I’ll Be Watching You

January 27, 2011

An article in the Austin American Statesman this week indicated the Austin Police Department will soon provide patrol officers head mounted cameras.  The camera is capable of recording everything the officer sees while performing policing duties. Everybody Is Watching Surveillance cameras at airports, subways, banks and other public venues are not the only devices tracking [...]

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Bail Pending a Criminal Appeal

December 10, 2010

There are tremendous advantages to remaining free while a criminal conviction is on appeal.  The most obvious advantages include not having to report to prison immediately and being allowed to remain with friends and family during the criminal appeal process. Actor Wesley Snipes recently sought a month’s delay before he begins serving a three-year sentence [...]

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Dog Tracking Evidence: Can That Dog Testify?

November 18, 2010

Scientific Testimony: Abuse of Discretion Standard Have you ever had a client located by a tracking dog?  If so, the admissibility of the evidence may be suspect.  A trial court’s decision to admit or exclude scientific testimony is subject to review under the abuse of discretion standard. Sexton v. State, 93 S.W.3d 96, 99 (Tex. [...]

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Review of Erroneous Admission of Expert Testimony

November 17, 2010

Here’s a quick blurb on the proper standard to be used by a Texas criminal appeals court’s analysis of whether the trial court erred in admitting expert testimony: Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 44.2(b) In accordance with Tex. R. App. 44.2(b), this Court’s analysis of the harm associated with the erroneous admission of expert testimony [...]

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