Caniglia v. Strom
Brief Amicus Curiae of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and Criminal Procedure Professors in Support of Petitioner.
Argument: In Sutterfield v. City of Milwaukee, 751 F.3d 542, 553 (7th Cir. 2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit observed that the distinctions among the exigent circumstances doctrine, the emergency aid doctrine, and the community caretaking doctrine “are not always clear.” In turn, these fuzzy distinctions have led to a “lack of clarity in judicial articulation and application of the three doctrines.” This lack of clarity means that courts deciding whether the community caretaking doctrine should apply to warrantless home entries often think that doctrine is needed to justify entries that are already covered by the exigent circumstances doctrine and/or the emergency aid doctrine. As set forth in this amici brief, this Court’s opinions defining and applying the exigent circumstances and emergency aid doctrines establish that police officers would need to rely on the community caretaking doctrine as an independent justification for warrantless home entries in only two potential situations: to address (1) non-bodily harms such as nuisances; and (2) non-imminent threats of bodily harm. Framed in that fashion, it is clear that a separate and independent rationale such as “community caretaking” – which was generated by the special circumstances attendant to automobile searches – does not justify invasion of the sanctity of the home. Indeed, the way that this Court distinguished its opinion in Coolidge in creating the community caretaking doctrine makes clear that the doctrine does not and should not apply to warrantless home entries. In addition, the capacity for a “community caretaking” exception that permits warrantless searches of the home would invite its use as an end run around the protections of the warrant requirement.
Farhane v. United States
Brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers as Amici Curiae in Support of Petitioner-Appellant.
Argument: Padilla held that the Sixth Amendment requires defense counsel to advise non-citizen clients of the risk of deportation from a guilty plea. Denaturalization is just as closely tied to the criminal process and at least as severe a punishment as deportation—indeed, the end goal of denaturalization is typically deportation. Counsel therefore also has a Sixth Amendment duty to advise naturalized citizens of the risk of denaturalization and, ultimately, deportation from a guilty plea. Adopting such a rule would be consistent with prevailing norms of professional practice and impose little burden on defense counsel.
United States v. Lindberg
Brief for Amicus Curiae National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (“NACDL”) in Support of Defendants-Appellants.
Argument: The District Court impermissibly directed a verdict on the existence of an official act. The jury decides whether the defendant is guilty of each contested element of the charged offense. The District Court usurped the jury’s exclusive role. Under Gaudin and McDonnell the question of whether alleged conduct constitutes an official act is a mixed question of law and fact reserved for the jury. Neither Fattah Nor Hastie justify a directed verdict on the official act element. That different juries may reach different verdicts based on similar facts is inherent in the jury system—it is not a basis to abrogate the jury’s right to render a verdict. The District Court’s error if uncorrected will impact other criminal defendants. The District Court’s error warrant a new trial. A directed verdict for the government on a disputed element can never be harmless. The improper directed verdict on the official act element also negates the convictions on the Section 666 charge.
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