Articles Posted in Criminal Law

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Pursuant to the protections of Nev. Const. art. I, 8, when a defendant requests a mistrial, jeopardy will also attach when a prosecutor intentionally proceeds in a course of egregious and improper conduct that causes the defendant prejudice that cannot be cured by means short of a mistrial. Petitioner was granted a mistrial on the basis for the late disclosure of certain documents. Petitioner later filed a renewed motion to dismiss pursuant to the Double Jeopardy Clause. The district court denied the motion, finding that the State had not intentionally withheld the documents from Petitioner. Petitioner then filed this original petition for extraordinary relief. The Supreme Court granted the petition, holding (1) the prosecutor intentionally and improperly withheld exculpatory documents, which constituted egregious conduct causing prejudice to defendant that could not be cured by means short of a mistrial; and (2) therefore, double jeopardy barred reprosecution of Petitioner on all counts. View "Thomas v. Eighth Judicial District Court" on Justia Law

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A defendant can be convicted of aiding and abetting a negligent or reckless crime upon sufficient proof that the aider and abettor possessed the necessary intent to aid in the act that caused the harm. The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant’s convictions for seven counts of performance of an act in reckless disregard of persons or property resulting in substantial bodily harm and seven counts of criminal negligence of patients resulting in substantial bodily harm (collectively, the endangerment crimes) but reversed Defendant’s conviction for second-degree murder. The court held (1) there was sufficient evidence to show that Defendant acted with awareness of the reckless or negligent conduct and with the intent to promote or further that conduct in the endangerment crimes for which he was convicted; but (2) there was insufficient evidence to convict Defendant of second-degree murder because there were intervening causes between Defendant’s actions and the victim’s death. View "Desai v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s judgment convicting Defendant of second-degree murder. On appeal, Defendant argued in part that the district court erred by denying his motion for a mistrial based on prosecutorial misconduct and his motion for a new trial based on juror misconduct. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Defendant failed to establish any prejudicial prosecutorial misconduct; (2) Defendant’s trial counsel failed adequately to develop the record to assess whether he was prejudiced by juror misconduct; and (3) the district court did not abuse its discretion in declining to provide the jury with a supplemental clarifying instruction on malice aforethought. View "Jeffries v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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Under the circumstances of this case, where the evidence indicated both juror misconduct during voir dire and resulting prejudice, the district court abused its discretion in denying Defendant’s motion for a new trial. After a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of two counts of lewdness with a minor. Defendant filed a motion for new trial on the basis of juror misconduct. The district court denied the motion, concluding that Defendant had failed to demonstrate prejudice arising from the alleged misconduct of the juror at issue. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the evidence indicated that the juror failed honestly to answer a material question during voir dire, and truthful disclosure could have provided a valid basis for a challenge for cause; and (2) therefore, the district court erred in denying Appellant’s motion for a new trial on the basis of juror misconduct. View "Brioady v. State" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court granted Petitioner’s petition for extraordinary relief requesting the Nevada Parole Board to reconsider its decision to deny parole, holding that Petitioner was entitled to a new parole hearing because the Board infringed upon Petitioner’s statutory right to receive proper consideration for parole by basing its decision in part on an inapplicable aggravating factor. The court held that, while Nevada inmates have no protectable liberty interest in release on parole, eligible Nevada inmates nevertheless do have a statutory right to be considered for parole by the Board, and when the Board misapplies its own internal guidelines in assessing whether to grant parole, it cannot be said that the inmate received the consideration to which he was statutorily entitled. View "Anselmo v. Bisbee" on Justia Law

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Nev. Rev. Stat. 200.450 - which provides that if any person, “upon previous concert and agreement,” fights with any and person and one person dies in the fight, the surviving fighter is guilty of first-degree murder - is not vague or overbroad. Appellant was convicted of first-degree murder with use of a deadly weapon. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) section 200.450 is neither vague nor overbroad; (2) the district court properly instructed the jury regarding self-defense and its inapplicability to challenge-to-fight murder theory; (3) Defendant was not entitled to relief on his claim that the presence in the courtroom of the State’s expert witness violated the exclusionary rule; and (4) the State’s expert witness impermissibly exceeded her scope as an expert witness, but the error was harmless. View "Pimentel v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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When a minor is arrested solely for solicitation or prostitution but is charged in juvenile court with offenses other than prostitution or solicitation, Nev. Rev. Stat. 62C.240 applies, precluding formal adjudication of delinquency and ensuring counseling and medical treatment services as part of a consent decree. Petitioner, a juvenile, was arrested for soliciting prostitution and loitering for the purpose of prostitution and was charged with obstructing an officer. Petitioner was adjudicated as a delinquent. The State subsequently filed several petitions alleging violations of Petitioner’s probation. The juvenile court committed Petitioner to placement at the Claliente Youth Center. Petitioner petitioned the Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus or prohibition directing the juvenile court to vacate its orders adjudicating her as a delinquent and apply the provisions of section 62C.240. The Supreme Court granted Petitioner’s petition, holding that A.J. was entitled to protections afforded under 62C.240 and that the juvenile court arbitrarily and capriciously abused its discretion by adjudicating her as a delinquent. View "A.J. v. Eighth Judicial District Court" on Justia Law

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Defendant appealed his convictions for conspiracy to commit robbery, burglary, robbery, and first-degree kidnapping, arguing that there was insufficient evidence to support a conviction of both robbery and kidnapping and that the Miranda warning given by the police prior to questioning was legally insufficient. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) there was sufficient evidence to support Defendant’s convictions for kidnapping and robbery; and (2) Defendant received an adequate Miranda warning prior to making statements to police and thus did not err in denying Defendant’s motion to suppress those statements. View "Stewart v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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My Entertainment TV (MET) filmed Michael Solid’s first-degree murder trial for use in a television “docudrama.” Solid filed this writ petition seeking interpretation of the Supreme Court Rules involving media in the courtroom. The Supreme Court denied Solid’s writ petition, holding (1) MET is a “news reporter” under these rules; (2) MET is using the footage for educational or informational purposes, as opposed to unrelated advertising; (3) the district court did not err in allowing MET to film the trial because Solid did not overcome the presumption in favor of electronic coverage; and (4) the terms of MET’s television series agreement with the Clark County District Attorney did not require the consent of Solid’s trial counsel. View "Solid v. Eighth Judicial District Court" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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After a jury trial, Appellant was convicted of thirty-six felony offenses and sentenced to a total term of life with the possibility of parole after eighty-five years. The conviction was affirmed on direct appeal. Thereafter, Appellant filed a pro se postconviction petition for a writ of habeas corpus and moved for appointment of counsel. The district court denied the petition following a hearing at which Appellant was not present. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the district court abused its discretion in declining to appoint postconviction counsel to represent Appellant in light of the severity of the consequences that Appellant faces, the potential need for discovery, and Appellant’s questionable proficiency with the English language. Remanded. View "Renteria-Novoa v. State" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law