Monthly Archives March 2019

DC COURT OF APPEALS REVERSAL: DC STALKING STATUTE INTERPRETATION

The DC Court of Appeals in Coleman v. U.S., decided on March 7, 2019, reversed an attempted stalking conviction as it analyzed further and defined the DC Stalking Statute and the requisite sufficiency of evidence to withstand a conviction. Coleman essentially argued on appeal that the government failed to prove that he possessed the requisite mental state in that he should have known a reasonable person in the complainant’s circumstances would fear for her or another’s safety, or feel seriously alarmed, disturbed, or frightened.  Or suffer emotional distress in at least two of the occasions that allegedly comprised his course
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REVERSAL DUE TO ERRONEOUS SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE: DC COURT OF APPEALS RECENT DECISION

The Court of Appeals in Jones v. U.S., decided on March 7, 2019 reversed a conviction for armed robbery and assault due to unreliability of the microscopic hair analysis evidence. Factually, defendant was tried in 1996 and convicted of armed robbery and other offenses. The appeal is from the court’s denial of his motions to vacate his convictions pursuant to D.C. Code § 23-110 and for post-conviction DNA testing pursuant to the Innocence Protection Act (IPA). Predominantly at trial the forensic evidence of microscopic hair samples testified to by an FBI agent clinched a conviction. Since 1996, and specifically in a
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CIVIL PROTECTION ORDER (CPO) VIOLATION THROUGH HEARSAY EVIDENCE: CELL PHONE CALL LOG

The Court of Appeals in Holmon v. D.C., decided on February 28, 2019, determined whether a Civil Protection Order violation resulting in conviction based on hearsay evidence at trial should be reversed. First to establish the elements of a CPO violation, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant had engaged in: (1) Willful disobedience (2) Of a protective court order. It is not a willful violation if: Petitioner approached the respondent without his encouragement or consent, The contact was necessitated by an emergency, or There also existed some other compelling reason. Even in the enumerated exceptions listed
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