On Getting Your Own Witness Locked Up

I put our star witness in jail. I have heard about prosecutors being slammed for doing this. One of my adjunct professors in law school – a prosecutor in Philadelphia – ended up on someone’s list of the… Read More

Lazo v. U.S.: A Court’s Duty To Investigate a Jencks Act Violation

The Jencks Act was a nasty little surprise when I began to practice in D.C. It was not that I didn’t appreciate getting the information. It was that I was used to getting this information much earlier in the process… Read More

Now on Sale: Nathan Burney’s “Illustrated Guide to Criminal Law”

As a faithful reader of Nathan Burney’s law blog, I have long known Burney to be someone who knows a little bit about criminal law. It is not just that, as a Georgetown law student, he once worked under Kristin… Read More

Once Again, No Consequences for Prosecutorial Misconduct

On the morning of trial, the prosecutor finds out that the testimony provided by a police officer at the preliminary hearing was inaccurate. Although the prosecutor himself is not planning to call this particular police officer to testify… Read More

Enforcing Brady v. Maryland: Toward An “Open File” Discovery Requirement

A constitutional right without any way of enforcing that constitutional right is hardly any right at all.  That’s a pretty accurate description of the government’s obligations under the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution and Brady v…. Read More

Interpreting Arizona v. Gant’s “Reasonable Belief” Standard for Warrantless Car Searches

In Arizona v. Gant, the U.S. Supreme Court helped slow a continuing trend in the chipping away of Fourth Amendment protections. For years, most jurisdictions allowed police officers to search any car whose occupants had been arrested, even when… Read More

In Re D.M.: When Can You Dismiss a Juvenile Case for “Social Reasons”?

The problem with using a canon of statutory interpretation to justify a legal opinion is that you can usually find some other canon to arrive at the exact opposite conclusion. For example, to support its recent holding in… Read More

Still Brady v. Maryland

The prosecutor can hardly blame me for being skeptical.  I ask her about one of the counts that was dropped from the complaint, and she tells me it was because the complaining witness said a few things to… Read More

Clark v. U.S.: The Government’s Violation of a Plea Agreement

The defendant is charged with armed robbery.  He and the government reach agreement on a plea deal in which the government agrees to ask for no more than 10 years of incarceration. In a memorandum submitted to the… Read More

In Re W.R.: Warrantless Search During a Custodial Arrest

Jejomar Untalan has been busy.  I reported last week on his successful appeal in In re S.B.  This week the D.C. Court of Appeals issued yet another decision bearing Untalan’s name as the appellant’s attorney:  In re W.R.,… Read More