Supreme Court Upholds Taking DNA Upon Arrest

Yesterday the Supreme Court decided a case that one Justice called “perhaps the most important criminal procedure case that this Court has heard in decades.” A bare majority of the Court ruled that the police may take DNA from those arrested for, but not yet convicted of, “serious offense[s].” The case resolves a deep split … Read more


Repressed Memory Evidence

In State v. King, the N.C. Supreme Court recently clarified the rules regarding the admissibility of repressed memory evidence. In King the defendant was charged with sexually assaulting his daughter, a minor. When she was approximately 17 years old, the victim began suffering panic attacks and pseudoseizures, acting like a young child, speaking of a … Read more

Supreme Court Update

Today, I wanted to note two timely and interesting items concerning the United States Supreme Court. First, the Court just granted certiorari in Chaidez v. United States, a case that presents the issue of whether Padilla v. Kentucky applies retroactively. Padilla, of course, is the case that requires criminal defense attorneys, in some circumstances, to … Read more


“Show Me the Money”: Specific Performance of a Plea Agreement

Suppose a defendant is indicted on charges of trafficking, possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia, and simple possession. Suppose further that the defendant enters into a plea agreement with the State. Under the terms of the plea agreement, the defendant will plead guilty to one count of misdemeanor possession; … Read more

Kentucky v. King and the Officer-Created Exigency Doctrine

Yesterday, the Supreme Court decided Kentucky v. King, a case that addresses — actually, eviscerates — the officer-created exigency doctrine. The facts are as follows: Officers investigating possible drug crimes smelled an odor of marijuana emanating from an apartment door. They banged loudly on the door and announced their presence. They heard people moving inside … Read more