Ineffective assistance of counsel

United States v. Laureys, 866 F.3d 432 (D.C. Cir. 2017)

D.C. Circuit reverses defendant’s conviction for attempted sex crime involving a minor due to defense counsel’s failure to properly consider mental health expert findings regarding defendant’s mental condition, with the result that defense counsel wrongly pursued his own unsupported theory and neglected expert evidence regarding defendant’s capacity to form the requisite criminal intent.

Found in DMHL Volume 36, Issue 3

Liability to injured third parties; special relationships; duty of care

Gottschalk v. Pomeroy Development, Inc., 893 N.W.2d 579 (Iowa 2017)

The Iowa Supreme Court holds that the state owed no duty of care to a private facility resident who was sexually abused by another resident who had been discharged by a court from a state violent sex offender program and then ordered by another court into the private facility due to dementia; further, no duty of care was owed to the private facility.

Found in DMHL Volume 36, Issue 2

Missouri Woman Confined as Sexual Predator Ordered Released

In re Cofel, 117 S.W.3d 116 (Mo. Ct. App. 2003)

The only woman ever confined in Missouri under that state's violent sexual predator law, and one of the few in the nation, has been released. The 27-year-old woman, Angela Coffel, was sentenced in 1995 to a five-year term after being convicted of two counts of sodomy for placing the penises of two brothers, ages 11 and 14, in her mouth during a game of "Truth or Dare." Coffel, 18-years­ old and HIV-positive at the time of the crime, has a family history that includes significant physical and emotional abuse, has a below­ normal IQ, and contracted HIV at the age of 17. At the completion of her sentence, she was committed indefinitely to the Missouri Sexual Offender Treatment Center after a judge ruled she was likely to assault someone again.  No one committed under the Missouri sexual predator law (enacted in 1998) to this center has ever been judged safe for release. The center currently houses 75 individuals, roughly half of which have been committed under this law and the other half are awaiting court determinations...

Found in DMHL Volume 23 Issue 1

Internet Sites Can Include Home Addresses of Sex Offenders

A.A. v. State, 341 F.3d 206 (3d Cir. 2003); 72(8) U.S. Law Week 1120-21 (Sept. 9, 2003)

The Third Circuit ruled a sex offender's constitutional privacy rights were not violated by an amendment to New Jersey's Megan's Law that makes convicted sex offenders' home addresses available to the public on the Internet.  Prior to the amendment, home addresses were only available to residents of the counties where the offenders lived...

Found in DMHL Volume 23 Issue 1

Ruling that 12-Year-Ol d Boy Could Be Subject to Life-Long Sex Offender Registration and Be Required to Move from His Home Town Not Disturbed

In re J.W., 787 N.E.2d 747 (Ill. 2003), cert. denied, 124 S. Ct. 222 (2003)

The Supreme Court declined to review a ruling of the Supreme Court of Illinois that a juvenile adjudicated delinquent for aggravated criminal sexual assault could be required to register and report for the rest of his life as a sex offender and could be prohibited from residing in his home town.  The juvenile was a 12-year-old boy who had been sentenced to a term of five years' probation following his admission of having sexual contact with two 7- year-old boys a number of times.  He was required to reside with his aunt and would be allowed to reside with his parents only if they moved to another town.  The juvenile had argued in part that subjecting him to the registration requirement was inconsistent with the purposes and policies underlying the Illinois Juvenile Court Act...

Found in DMHL Volume 23 Issue 1

Mandatory Disclosure of Sexual History in Conjunction with a Treatment Program for a Convicted Sexual Offender as a Condition of Probation Struck Down

United States v. Antelope, 395 F.3d 1128 (9th Cir. 2005)

The courts continue to wrestle with the nature of the conditions that can be placed on sexual offenders who are permitted to return to the community.  An individual convicted of possessing child pornography after he ordered a child pornography video over the Internet was initially sentenced to five years probation....

Found in DMHL Volume 24 Issue 2

Pedophilia with a Personality Disorder Sufficient Basis for Involuntary Commitment as a Sexually Violent Predator

Kilgore v. Garris, No. LS-1224-1, 2004 WL 3001162 (Va. Cir. Ct. 2004)

A Virginia Circuit Court judge ruled that an individual fit the definition of a sexually violent predator provided by the Virginia Code and ordered his involuntary confinement.  Under the relevant statute, confinement as a sexually violent predator is limited to an individual who "because of a mental abnormality or personality disorder, finds it difficult to control his predatory behavior which makes him likely to engage in sexually violent acts." VA. CODE § 37.1-70.1...

Found in DMHL Volume 24 Issue 2

Virginia Supreme Court Clarifies Scope and Operation of Sexually Violent Predator Commitment Law

Townes v. Commonwealth, 609 S.E.2d 1 (Va. 2005)

Legislation that permits prison inmates to be involuntarily hospitalized as a sexually violent predator (SVP) upon the completion of their prison term has been widely enacted across the country.  Courts asked to review this legislation have generally upheld it.  On the few occasions in which a court has read this legislation in such a way that its scope and impact is narrowed, legislators have tended to respond by enacting additional legislation that clarifies that they intended it to have a broader reach...

Found in DMHL Volume 24 Issue 2

Life-Time Ban from City Parks Can Be Imposed on Past Sex Offender Who Has Molestation Fantasies While "Cruising"

Doe v. Lafayette, Ind., 377 F.3d 757 (7th Cir. 2004 )

States and communities across the country have crafted numerous mechanisms to limit the activities of repeat sexual offenders.  The City of Lafayette, Indiana, banned one such offender from all of its public parks...

Found in DMHL Volume 24 Issue 1

Paraphiliac Pedophile's Acceptance of Responsibility for the Sexual Exploitation of Children Is Grounds for Sentence Reduction

United States v. Kise, 369 F.3d 766 (4th Cir. 2004 )

The future of the federal sentencing guidelines is somewhat in doubt following the U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling in Blakely v. Washington, 124 S. Ct. 2531 (2004).  Under the guidelines as they currently exist, however, a trial judge in the federal system is to consider a number of factors in deciding whether to enhance or reduce a convicted defendant's sentence.  The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals held that a defendant who admitted to and attempted to remedy his mental disorder should be granted a sentence reduction...

Found in DMHL Volume 24 Issue 1

Ruling That Dismissed Substantive Due Process Challenge to Sex Offender Registration and Notification Law Not Disturbed

Doe v. Tandeske, 361 F.3d 594 (9th Cir. 2004), cert. denied, 125 S. Ct. 56 (2004)

Every state requires that various convicted sex offenders register with a state entity, typically a law enforcement agency, upon the completion of their prison term. This information is generally made available to the community by some means, which in many states, including Virginia, involves posting the information on an Internet website...

Found in DMHL Volume 24 Issue 1

Missouri Court Rules Individual Need Not Be Competent Before a Sexually Violent Predator Commitment Hearing Can Be Held; Supreme Court Declines Review

Missouri v. Kinder, 129 S.W.3d 5 (Mo. Ct. App. 2003), cert. denied, 125 S. Ct. 480 (2004)

Many states in recent years have enacted laws that permit convicted sexual offenders to be civilly committed as a sexually violent predator upon the completion of their criminal sentence.  It is well established that a criminal defendant must be competent to stand trial before the defendant can be convicted...

Found in DMHL Volume 24 Issue 1

Sex Offenders Can Be Prohibited from Living Within 2,000 Feet of a School or Registered Child Care Facility; Ruling Not Disturbed

Doe v. Miller, 405 F.3d 700 (8th Cir. 2005), cert. denied, 126 S. Ct. 757 (2005)

Every state has adopted legislation that imposes registration and community notification on certain sex offenders, and there is now an Internet-based ( national repository that collects and makes available to the public the names and the home and work addresses of these offenders. In addition, nineteen states have passed sexual offender civil commitment statutes, several states have abolished the statute of limitations on felony child sex abuse charges (e.g., Alaska, Maine, Rhode Island), at least two states have enacted legislation to admit evidence of prior acts of child abuse at a trial where there are current charges of child sexual abuse (California and Michigan), many states have increased sentences for sex offenders (e.g., Florida), a number of states have extended or enhanced the supervision of sex offenders upon release from prison (e.g., Florida authorizes lifetime supervision), and eighteen states have established buffer zones that prohibit registered sex offenders from living near places where children congregate. Susan Broderick, Innovative Legislative Strategies for Dealing with Sexual Offenders, 18(10) AMERICAN PROSECUTORS RESEARCH INSTITUTE UPDATE 1 (2006)...

Found in DMHL Volume 25 Issue 2

Statute of Limitations Held to Bar Personal Injury Suit Against Catholic Diocese Based on 25-Year-Old Recovered Memories of Sexual Abuse

Mcconville v. Rhoads, No. L04-422, 2005 WL 1463850 (Va. Cir. Ct. June 8, 2005)

A man who alleged that he recently recovered memories of sexual abuse some twenty-five years earlier by a nun who taught at his Catholic school had his lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Richmond dismissed because the claim was barred by the Virginia statute of limitations on filing personal injury claims.  In Virginia, a lawsuit to recover for personal injuries generally must be filed within two years from the time the harm occurred, although if the injured person is a minor the two-year period does not begin to run until the person reaches the age of eighteen...

Found in DMHL Volume 25 Issue 1

Virginia Supreme Court Rejects Constitutional Challenges to Sexually Violent Predator Commitment Law

Shivaee v. Commonwealth, 613 S.E.2d 570 (Va. 2005)

The U.S. Supreme Court in Kansas v. Hendricks, 521 U.S. 346 (1997), and Kansas v. Crane, 534 U.S. 407 (2002), defused most federal constitutional challenges to the civil commitment of sexual offenders under the sexually violent predator (SVP) statutes enacted by many states in recent years.  State constitutions could, nevertheless, provide an alternative basis for challenging these enactments.

Found in DMHL Volume 25 Issue 1

Sex Offender Registration/Therapy Can’t Be Condition Parole on TX Inmates Convicted of Non-Sexual Offense Without Finding They’re Threat to Society Because Lack of Sexual Control; Ruling Not Disturbed

Coleman v. Dretke, 395 F.3d 216 (5th Cir. 2004), cert. denied, 126 S. Ct. 427 (2005)

Texas sometimes requires sex offender registration and sex offender therapy as a condition of release on parole from incarceration.  While SVP commitment requires a hearing and is generally limited to offenders convicted of a specified sexual offense, these parole conditions could be imposed without a hearing and regardless of whether the inmate had been convicted of a sexual offense...

Found in DMHL Volume 25 Issue 1

Texas Supreme Court Upholds SVP Commitments and Concludes That Incompetent Individuals Can Be Committed; Ruling Not Disturbed

In re Commitment of Fisher, 164 S.W.3d 637 (Tex. 2005), cert. denied, 126 S. Ct. 428 (2005)

Like at least sixteen other states, Texas permits a court to commit individuals who suffer from behavioral abnormalities that make them likely to engage in a predatory act of sexual violence.   Unlike other states, persons adjudged to be a sexually violent predator (SVP) in Texas are committed to outpatient treatment and supervision. However, a violation of an associated imposed constraint is categorized as a third-degree felony and can result in jail or prison time...

Found in DMHL Volume 25 Issue 1

Florida Sex Offender Registration and Notification Scheme Upheld; Ruling Not Disturbed

Doe v. Moore, 410 F.3d 1337 (11th Cir. 2005), cert. denied, 126 S. Ct. 624 (2005)

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a series of challenges to the sex offender registration and notification statutes of various states. See Connecticut Dep't of Pub. Safety v. Doe, 538 U.S. 1 (2003); Smith v. Doe, 538 U.S. 84 (2003).  Among the issues not directly addressed by the Supreme Court are whether these laws violate these individuals' constitutional rights to substantive due process, equal protection, and travel.  The Eleventh Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals has rejected such claims in upholding Florida's sex offender registration and notification scheme...

Found in DMHL Volume 25 Issue 1