Monday, June 27, 2016

Gov. Bevin Announces Kentucky-led Council on Criminal Justice Reform

Bipartisan council will undertake a comprehensive review of justice policy for reforms next year.

With prisons at capacity, overdose deaths on the rise, and families fractured by incarceration, Gov. Matt Bevin today announced plans to seek a smarter, compassionate, evidence-based approach to criminal justice in Kentucky.

Standing in the Capitol Rotunda with a broad coalition of lawmakers, advocates and policy leaders, Gov. Bevin introduced his newly-formed Criminal Justice Policy Assessment Council. The 23-member panel will seek expert advice & study data-driven evidence over the next six months and recommend reforms in the 2017 General Assembly for a smarter, stronger and fairer system of justice.

“From the very beginning, America has been a land of second chances. Even so, many in our criminal justice system are not given a path forward to become productive members of society after they have served their time,” said Gov. Bevin. “I believe in the importance of supporting basic human dignity. When we hold individuals fully accountable for their actions while treating them with respect in the process, all of society benefits. I am excited today to announce the formation of the Criminal Justice Policy Assessment Council. Their purpose is to carefully study and then suggest actionable policy solutions for improving our criminal justice system.”

Justice and Public Safety Secretary John Tilley will lead the council, and Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton will serve as Special Advisor to the committee and Liaison to the Governor.

"While we have made great strides, Kentucky can get smarter on crime while remaining tough on criminals,” Secretary Tilley said. "By using data-driven policy and clear evidence, we can cut re-offense rates, improve reentry, increase drug treatment and treat mental illness – all while maintaining, and even bettering public safety.”

The U.S. Justice Action Network’s Jenna Moll presented at the first meeting of the council on the Lessons from the States: How a Country is Correcting their Corrections. Her presentation can be downloaded, HERE.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

KYSC - Manery - Right to Cross Lab Tech

Ernest Manery v. Commonwealth, 14-SC-666-MR (rendered 6/16/16)(to be published).  Mr. Manery was convicted on multiple counts of first-degree rape, first-degree sexual abuse, and first-degree PFO, and was sentenced to LWOP-25.  The Court reversed and remanded for a new trial.

The alleged victim, a minor, tested positive for gonorrhea.  Police secured a search warrant for testing of Mr. Manery, and the jail doctor ordered the test, which was “presumptively positive” for gonorrhea.  At trial, the jail doctor testified about the test results.  The Court held that Mr. Manery’s right to confront the witnesses against him was violated when the trial court allowed the test results to be admitted at trial without the testimony of the lab technician.  This was clearly testimonial: “When the analyst at Quest conducted the test, any positive results for gonorrhea would doubtlessly inculpate Manery with the crimes alleged by Jane, and there was no broader purpose beyond identifying the perpetrator of these sex crimes. So we have no doubt that the report in this case is properly considered testimonial for purposes of the Confrontation Clause.” Slip Op. 10.  

Sheena Baylon represented Mr. Manery before the Boone Circuit Court.  Emily Rhorer represented him on direct appeal before the Kentucky Supreme Court.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

June 2016 Advocate now available online

  • Felony Expungement Law Passes
  • 2016 New Legislation
  • It's Time for Criminal Justice Reform in Kentucky
  • Misdemeanor Jail Credits
  • Fayete Child Support Specialty Court
  • 2016 DPA Recognition Ceremony

Thursday, June 9, 2016

KYCOA - Lydon - Knock and Talk/Exigent Circumstances

Ian Lydon v. Commonwealth, Opinion Reversing and Remanding, To be Published

On a grant of discretionary review, Lydon argued that the circuit court erred in affirming the district court’s decision overruling his motion to suppress evidence observed and photographed when police entered his home without a warrant. The subject incident occurred when officers were looking for a juvenile who was involved in an incident earlier that day, and they received information that the juvenile was at appellant’s apartment. The officers conducted a knock and announce at the front door of appellant’s apartment. Lydon was confronted about the missing juvenile and the smell of marijuana. Before Lydon could answer, the officers entered the home. 

The Court of Appeals noted that the only indicia of criminal activity at the time of entry was the odor of burning marijuana, which can create probable cause but is insufficient, by itself, to create exigent circumstances justifying a warrantless entry. By the time the officers saw the juvenile for whom they were searching, they had exceeded the bounds of their knock and talk and were in a place they had no legal right or justification to be. 

Bill Maddox represented Mr. Lydon in district court and circuit court
Erin Yang represented Mr. Lydon on the Court of Appeals