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Weekly Caselaw Updates

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Commonwealth v. Conklin

The Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that the lower court did not impose a vindictive sentence. The lower court re-sentenced the defendant after the Superior Court vacated the defendant's original sentence. The aggregate of the new sentence decreased considerably, though the court imposed increased penalties on two counts of Aggravated Assault.…

Commonwealth v. Conklin
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that the lower court did not impose a vindictive sentence. The lower court re-sentenced the defendant after the Superior Court vacated the defendant’s original sentence. The aggregate of the new sentence decreased considerably, though the court imposed increased penalties on two counts of Aggravated Assault. The defendant appealed, arguing that… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Conklin

The New Jersey Appellate Division waded into a difficult double jeopardy issue after a trial court declared a mistrial. The State alleged that the defendant drove 80 mph while intoxicated in a 25 mph zone, causing a collision that killed his passenger. Mid-trial, a testifying hospital nurse identified an inconsistency in the lab results. That… Continue reading State v. Zadroga

Commonwealth v. Edwards
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

A highly-fractured Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued an opinion that refused to extend double jeopardy protections. The defendant sought to bar a retrial after the Superior Court vacated his conviction,  holding that the Commonwealth violated Batson when it struck a potential juror based on race. The defendant moved to preclude a successive prosecution based on double… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Edwards

Commonwealth v. Krista
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that double jeopardy did not bar the defendant’s re-trial. During closing arguments, the prosecutor commented on the defendant’s silence, thereby causing a mistrial. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss, citing the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s recent holding in Commonwealth v. Johnson. The trial court denied the motion, and the Superior… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Krista

Commonwealth v. Miller
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the trial court’s order granting the Commonwealth’s Petition for Writ of Certiorari and denying the defendant’s request to dismiss the charges against him on double jeopardy grounds. Officer Navarro arrested the defendant for retail theft. The officer was present at the defendant’s preliminary hearing, but the Commonwealth was not represented… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Miller

Commonwealth v. King
Pennsylvania Superior Court

In these consolidated appeals, the Pennsylvania Superior Court reversed the order that dismissed the charges against Appellees based on double jeopardy and remanded for a new trial. Appellees were convicted of murder in 2006. They filed PCRA petitions, alleging the Commonwealth committed a Brady violation concerning a letter written by a witness who testified at… Continue reading Commonwealth v. King

Commonwealth v. Moore
Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court

Who knew dogs could lead to so much litigation? In the latest installment of Dog Law, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court vacated the defendant’s conviction for violating the law relating to confinement and control of dogs. The defendant was charged with violating Section 502-A(a) of the Dog Law (relating to summary offense of harboring a dangerous… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Moore

Commonwealth v. Goods
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court tentatively waded into choppy waters when wrestling with the defendant’s double jeopardy claim. The defendant was charged with firearms offenses and suffered a broken leg during the course of his arrest. At trial, his attorney sought to question the arresting officer with certain Facebook posts the officer made that were uncovered… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Goods

Commonwealth v. Sanchez
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The defendant filed a motion to dismiss on double jeopardy grounds, relying on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision in Commonwealth v. Johnson, 231 A.3d 807 (Pa. 2020). The trial court denied the motion, and the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed. The Court held that “notwithstanding the Commonwealth’s unfortunate errors in this case, they do not rise… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Sanchez

Commonwealth v. Jordan
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

A criminal defense attorney’s worst nightmare occurred, and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed. The defendant was charged with a gunpoint robbery. He proceeded to a jury trial. But as is standard practice, he severed the gun charge because the Commonwealth must prove the defendant who possessed a gun and has been convicted of a prior… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Jordan