Articles Posted in Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court denying Appellant’s second motion for postconvcition relief, holding that Appellant’s second motion was barred by the limitation period set forth in Neb. Rev. Stat. 29-3001(4). Appellant was convicted of second degree murder and use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony. After unsuccessfully seeking relief in his first postconviction motion, Appellant filed a second motion for postconviction relief setting forth three grounds for relief. The district court denied Appellant’s request for an evidentiary hearing and sustained the State’s motion to dismiss. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellant’s second motion for postconviction relief was barred by the time limitation of section 29-3001(4). View "State v. Edwards" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s denial of Appellant’s motion for postconviction relief without an evidentiary hearing, holding that Appellant’s postconviction motion failed to state a claim for relief. Appellant was convicted of first degree murder and use of a firearm to commit a felony in the shooting of a police officer. Appellant later filed an amended motion for postconviction relief, alleging that he was denied the right to a fair trial, ineffective assistance of trial and appellate counsel, prosecutorial misconduct, and newly discovered evidence. The district court denied the motion, finding that Appellant was not entitled to an evidentiary hearing. The Supreme Court affirmed the denial of postconviction relief as to all of Appellant’s assignments of error, holding that Appellant’s claims were without merit. View "State v. Allen" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s conviction of first-degree murder murder and second-degree arson and the sentences imposed in connection with the convictions, holding that the evidence was sufficient to support the convictions and that Defendnat's trial counsel was not ineffective. On appeal, Defendant argued that the evidence at trial was insufficient to prove the elements of her convictions and that her trial counsel provided ineffective assistance in eight respects. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding that the evidence was sufficient to support the convictions and that the record refuted Defendant’s claims of ineffective assistance. View "State v. Golyar" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions of driving under the influence, fifth offense, two counts of child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury, and other offenses but vacated the sentences imposed, holding that the district court committed plain error in sentencing Defendant. Specifically, the Court held that the district court (1) did not err in denying Defendant’s motions to recuse, suppress blood test results, and exclude blood test results under Franks v. Delaware, 438 U.S. 154 (1978); but (2) committed plain error in sentencing Defendant to license revocations for his convictions for three counts and in sentencing Defendant to determinate sentences, rather than indeterminate sentences, for four counts. View "State v. Thompson" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court denying, without an evidentiary hearing, Appellant’s petition for postconviction relief, holding that Appellant was not entitled to an evidentiary hearing on his claims of prosecutorial misconduct and ineffective assistance of counsel and that the district court did not err in dismissing Appellant’s motion for postconviction relief. In his petition, Appellant argued that the prosecutor committed several instances of misconduct and that he received ineffective assistance of trial and appellate counsel. The district court denied the motion without an evidentiary hearing. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court did not err in finding that an evidentiary hearing was not warranted and in dismissing his claims of prosecutorial misconduct and ineffective assistance of counsel. View "State v. Tyler" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals affirming Defendant’s convictions and sentences for three counts of first degree sexual assault of a child, one count of first degree sexual abuse, and one count of intentional child abuse, holding that the Court of Appeals did not err in concluding that there was sufficient evidence to support Defendant’s conviction for first degree sexual assault. The Court further held that there was no error in the Court of Appeals’ disposition of Defendant’s assignments of error relating to (1) the admission of expert testimony concerning the behaviors and testimonial partners of child sexual assault victims, (2) a claim of prosecutorial misconduct, and (3) the admission of DNA evidence. View "State v. McCurdy" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court overruling Defendant’s motion to suppress evidence obtained from a traffic stop, holding that this was an investigatory traffic stop supported by reasonable suspicion. Defendant moved to suppress the evidence obtained from the search of his car, arguing that the law enforcement officer did not have probable cause or reasonable suspicion to initiate the traffic stop. The district court found that the traffic stop was supported by probable cause and overruled the motion to suppress. The Supreme Court affirmed, although its reasoning differed from that of the district court, holding that the investigatory stop of Defendant’s car was supported by reasonable suspicion and was therefore constitutional. View "State v. Barbeau" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court vacated in part and dismissed in part the appeal of the dismissal of Appellant’s mandamus action and the cross-appeal of the rejection of Appellee’s sovereign immunity defense, holding that the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over Appellant’s mandamus action against Nebraska State Patrol (NSP), a state agency. Appellant filed this mandamus action against NSP seeking an order commanding NSP to remove from the public record information regarding his arrest. The district court rejected NSP’s sovereign immunity defense but dismissed the mandamus action on the grounds that the action was moot and mandamus relief was unavailable because Appellant had an adequate remedy at law. The Supreme Court held that Appellant’s mandamus action was barred by the doctrine of sovereign immunity, and therefore, the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the action. View "State ex rel. Rhiley v. Nebraska State Patrol" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s sentence imposed in connection with Defendant's convictions for kidnapping and manslaughter, holding that there was no reversible error in any aspect of the district court’s sentencing. Defendant was serving a criminal sentence in Colorado when he was extradited to Nebraska to face charges. Colorado authorities granted Defendant parole approximately nineteen months later. When Defendant was convicted of kidnapping and manslaughter in Nebraska, the district court determined that Defendant was not entitled to credit for time served prior to his parole in Colorado. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court (1) properly denied Defendant credit for time spent in custody up until he was paroled; (2) did not err by receiving a certain exhibit in the course of determining whether and to what extent Defendant was entitled to credit for time served; and (3) did not abuse its discretion by imposing consecutive sentences. View "State v. Leahy" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court convicting Defendant of motor vehicle homicide, manslaughter, driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) causing serious bodily injury, and refusal to submit to a preliminary breath test and the sentences imposed, holding that any error in the trial court proceedings was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. Specifically, the Court held (1) Defendant failed to establish that he received ineffective assistance of counsel as a matter of law; (2) evidence of a driver’s refusal to submit to a warrantless blood draw is admissible in a DUI prosecution; and (3) the trial court erred in admitting the victim’s death certificate without supporting testimony, but the error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt. View "State v. Hood" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law