“If a guilty client goes free, I don’t feel bad – I think that’s the way the system works, and the police and prosecutors should have done their job. Our system is imperfect – innocent people go to prison, guilty people go free.” ⇒
The Supreme Court of Montana (SCOMT) released a number of decisions on Tuesday, including the following involving criminal law:
- Hardin v. State, 2006 MT 272 (involving postconviction releif, sentencing, IAC, and plea bargaining)
- State v. Thompson, 2006 MT 274 (involving DUI and particularized suspicion)
- State v. Benders, 2006 MT 275 (involving DUI, conlaw, vagueness, and particularized suspicion) (sort of an unfortunate name for a DUI case, no?)
We haven’t had time to read (and therefore summarize) these opinions, but if anyone else has, we’d be happy to post your summaries and/or commentary right here on Fight ‘Em ‘Til We Can’t. Just send ‘em in.
The links above (and other links on this blog to recent SCOMT decisions) are to the Montana State Law Library Newsfeed. The links to each case will take you to a PDF download of the actual opinion, and the posts about each case include the keywords listed above that give you some idea of what each case is about. Thus, the Newsfeed is invaluable on several levels. First, if you use a newsreader and know how to subscribe to an RSS feed, the Law Library’s Newsfeed will make sure you stay up-to-the-minute on new decisions from the SCOMT. Second, the keywords for each opinion make it easy to scan new decisions for those that might be relevant to your cases or interests.
Here at FETWCthe Law Library’s Newsfeed is an invaluable service. Kudos to the Law Library for making such great use of available technology.
“Two Chicago officers were arrested yesterday in an FBI sting for stealing $31,000 in cash from suspected drug dealers.” ⇒
“The defense in the retrial of convicted murderer Leotis Payne says a prosecutor abused his power and showed ‘racial discrimination’ when he conducted a criminal background check of a potential juror who is black.” ⇒
“If counties, cities and states keep passing onerous ordinances and laws banning sex offenders from ‘within 2000 feet of parks, bus stops, schools, stadiums, libraries, malls and my and your house’, then we will have hordes of people either relocating to Montana (in which case Montana will pass a similar law and then what?) or living by the side of highways between towns.”
“Heads should roll here. And I’m guessing that they would at a lot of other DA’s offices.” ⇒
“Maintaining family ties is critically important to preventing recidivism and facilitating prisoner re-entry after their sentence is complete. Preventing contact with families punishes children, in particular . . . much more than the offender, and much more than most people realize.” ⇒
“He had been acquitted of all six charges! The attorney and her client were wrapped, weeping, in each others arms. He kept saying, ‘Thank God, thank you, thank god, thank you.’” ⇒
Last week the Montana Supreme Court affirmed the revocation of appellant Baird’s deferred sentence in State v. Baird, 2006 MT 266. Baird had previously been convicted of felony stalking for violating an order that he stay away from from his wife, from whom he was separated. Baird was given a deferred sentence of two years, but that sentence was revoked after he again allegedly had impermissible contacts with his wife. Baird raised three issues on appeal:
- Was there sufficient information before the District Court to revoke Baird’s deferred sentence?
- Did the District Court deny Baird due process by failing to advise him of the reasons his deferred sentence was revoked?
- Did the District Court err by not allowing Baird to present testimony regarding his conduct?
The Court found that the Twentieth Judicial District Court, Sanders County, had not abused its discretion in revoking the deferred sentence because it had based the revocation on sufficient evidence. ¶22. The Court also found that the district court had properly advised Baird of its reasons for revoking the deferred sentence. ¶32. Finally, the Court chose not to address Baird’s third appeal issue because Baird’s appeal brief was “made in a single paragraph, and without citation of authority,” and therefore gave the Court no reason to believe the District Court had erred. ¶34. [tags]Criminal, Evidence, Sentencing, Probation/Parole, Due Process[/tags]