Criminal charges are based on evidence. Without evidence to support allegations, a charge cannot survive. But just how accurate is the evidence used to support criminal charges?
Stories about death row appeals and states considering ending the death penalty get plenty of attention in the media, but it should not take a life or death situation for people to care about protecting the rights of the accused.
A Florida circuit court judge has agreed to hear a post-conviction relief motion filed on behalf of Randall Holcombe, a man who was sentenced to four years of prison on a racketeering and grand theft conviction.
A Florida appeals court has squashed a lawsuit brought forth by a group of Floridians who were impacted by the Costa Concordia shipwreck off the coast of Italy in 2012.
After an individual has been convicted of a crime and sentenced to incarceration, there are several legal avenues that they can explore to attack that conviction. However, if an individual does not act quickly they may miss out on these opportunities because several of the post-conviction options give individuals strict time limitations of two years or less to file their actions with the court. These strict limitations usually leave incarcerated individuals with questions about what other options are left for them. So what does happen when your time runs out?
The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 was created as a way to assist state, local, and tribal jurisdictions more effectively investigate and prosecute hate crimes. William Hatch, a man from New Mexico, was one of the first people charged under the federal statute after participating in a hate crime. This week the Supreme Court has refused to review the hate crime conviction of Hatch.
In Shelley v. State, Case Number 2D13-1941 the Second District Court of Appeal sided with O'Brien Hatfield, PA and reversed a sex crime conviction. This sex crime case reversal resulted from an appeal to the Second District Court of Appeal. It was an appeal from a conviction and sentence for use of computer services to solicit consent of a parent to have sex with a minor and traveling to meet a minor after using computer services to solicit the consent of a parent. As a result of our firm's appellate efforts, the Second District Court of Appeal vacated the sex crime conviction and sex crime sentence on the legal grounds of double jeopardy.
We are pleased to announce the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned a life sentence for firm client Pedro Rodriguez. In an opinion released to the public on March 12, 2014, a panel of three judges agreed with our argument that Pedro Rodriguez's appointed lawyer, the government and the district court were all incorrect when they all agreed Mr. Rodriguez had two qualifying drug convictions that mandated a sentence of life in federal prison after he lost at trial. As a result, the Eleventh Circuit vacated Mr. Rodriguez's life sentence and remanded the case back to the district court for resentencing. United States v. Pedro Rodriguez
A conviction for drug distribution under the federal Controlled Substances Act can carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison. "If death or serious bodily injury results from the use of such substance," however, the mandatory minimum sentence doubles to 20 years.
Edwin Aguilar-Ibarra pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit a Hobbs Act robbery and the commission of a Hobbs Act robbery and was sentenced to 87-months. Prior to his sentencing, his defense counsel failed to make timely objections to the presentence investigation report. As a result, Aguilar-Ibarra was given a two-level bodily injury enhancement. Aguilar-Ibarra appealed the sentence and challenged the district court's decision to apply the enhancement. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed his sentence.