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Criminal Appeals Archives

Justice Delayed is Justice Denied (again)

Yesterday, the Oregon Court of Appeals held that the Cornelius Oregon Police Department did not act in good faith reliance on then-existing law when it impounded and searched a car that was parked in its owner's driveway.

Why do I need a good lawyer?

So you don't end up wrongfully convicted like Dennis Alderman, or wrongfully sentenced to prison like Franklin Brooks. Two recent Oregon Court of Appeals decisions, first here and second here, illustrate the dangers faced by everyone charged in state courts with the commission of a felony crime.

Court of Appeals tosses drug case

Today the Oregon Court of Appeals threw out the Delivery of Methamphetamine conviction of Leonardo Espinoza-Barragan because the police officer who stopped him for driving infractions unlawfully expanded the traffic stop into a drug investigation.

Oregon Supreme Court to consider challenge to rape-shield law

Since 1975, Oregon law has provided that the sexual history of a rape victim may not be subject to public review in prosecution of a rape case. The law provides that courts may hold private hearings to determine if a victim's past sexual behavior is admissible as evidence.

Crime. It REALLY doesn't pay

Christina Goodenow found out the hard way that theft in Oregon doesn't pay; at least if you get caught. Ms. Goodenow was the happy winner of a $1,000,000. Oregon lottery ticket. When she claimed her prize she elected to take it installments of $50,000 per year for the next twenty years. She hit the street with her first check and the good times began.

9th Circuit upholds extended SOL in child porn cases

Today in United States v. Carpenter, a case out of the Portland division of the District of Oregon, the 9th Circuit joined the 2nd and 8th Circuits in holding that the production of child pornography necessarily involves the "sexual abuse" of children as that term is defined under federal criminal law.

Not every attorney error requires reversal

Yesterday, the Oregon Court of Appeals handed down decisions in two cases involving arguments that the criminal defense lawyer at trial had made an error serious enough to require that the underlying convictions be overturned. The cases had dramatically different results.

Tainted identifications lead to new trial

Yesterday, the Oregon Court of Appeals threw out the first degree robbery, burglary and other assorted convictions of Jose Delatorre-Vargas on the ground that the police used suggestive procedures when seeking to have two of the crime victims identify the perpetrator.

Supreme Court overturns murder conviction

On January 10, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Louisiana state first degree murder conviction of Juan Smith. Smith had been convicted of murdering five people in an armed robbery gone-bad. According to the majority only one witness identified Mr. Smith as the gunman and no physical evidence implicated him in the crime.

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