Sixth Amendment

27 ABA Journal Sixth Amendment articles.

Afternoon Briefs: Election lawyer referred for court discipline; public defender waiting list declared unconstitutional

Lawyer refers election lawyer for discipline

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg of the District of Columbia has referred a Minneapolis lawyer to a court grievance committee for possible discipline after…

Criminal defense lawyer challenges jury trial moratorium, argues cases can’t be paused indefinitely
A criminal defense lawyer has filed a speedy trial demand that challenges a federal court’s order suspending all jury trials until March 12.
Charges tossed against hammer-attack suspect after accuser refuses to testify without a mask
An Oregon judge dismissed charges against a suspect in a hammer attack Monday after his accuser refused to testify against him without a mask.
9th Circuit wrongly overturned death sentence, Supreme Court rules in summary decision
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday summarily reversed a federal appeals court decision on behalf of a death-row inmate who claimed that his trial lawyer was ineffective.
Federal judge rules students have no right to civics education while warning of peril to democracy

A Rhode Island federal judge has ruled students in the state have no constitutional right to a civics education, even as he warned of a “deep flaw” in education priorities. Judge William Smith said they seem to recognize “American democracy is in peril.”

Former inmate’s suit says appointed lawyer was ineffective and unlicensed in this state
A former Washington inmate claims in a lawsuit that he pleaded guilty to two felony charges after getting bad advice from an appointed lawyer who wasn’t licensed in the state.
Defense lawyer who didn’t probe death-row client’s bad childhood was deficient, SCOTUS says
A defense lawyer who failed to investigate his capital client’s tumultuous childhood provided ineffective assistance of counsel, the U.S. Supreme Court held Monday.
Resuming criminal jury trials would be ‘reckless and irresponsible,’ NACDL says regarding COVID-19
Resuming criminal jury trials would be “reckless and irresponsible” given the risk of transmission of the new coronavirus and the burdens on defendants’ constitutional rights, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers said in a report released Thursday.
In Gorsuch opinion, Supreme Court rules unanimous verdict is needed to convict
A unanimous verdict is needed to convict a defendant of a serious criminal offense, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday.
ABA brief criticizes trend in which courts fail to consider prevailing norms in ineffective assistance cases
The ABA has filed an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to reaffirm that courts must look to “prevailing professional norms” when assessing lawyers’ performance in ineffective assistance cases.
Murder conviction tossed after prosecutor conducts background check on only black juror
A New Jersey appeals court has overturned a murder conviction after the prosecutor conducted a criminal background check on the only black person among the potential jurors, resulting in an arrest.
Federal judge refuses to OK consent decree limiting caseloads for Missouri public defenders
A federal judge in Missouri has refused to approve a consent decree that would have limited state public defenders to no more than 173.3 hours worth of cases each month, a standard that is based on a 40-hour workweek.
Overturning 2016 precedent, Florida top court says jury unanimity not needed for death penalty
The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday overturned a 2016 decision and ruled that judges may impose the death penalty even when jurors do not unanimously recommend it.
Justices should consider when wrongfully convicted can seek damages, ABA says
The ABA is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a case that “presents one of the increasing number of instances in which a prosecutor’s office has conditioned the release of an unlawfully convicted defendant on his agreement to a new plea—rather than vacating the prior conviction before bringing any new charges.”
Pro se litigants in pop culture show why representing yourself can be a dangerous decision

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has a weekly mailing list that sends out the court’s published and unpublished cases. They arrive in quick succession every Thursday morning. It’s a…

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