Criminal Law

  • Hess v. State In Hess v. State the Supreme Court of Alaska held that a prosecutor’s unsupported improper statements during closing arguments constitute plain error if they meet all four prongs of the Adams v. State test.  In September 2011, Anchorage police were called to a reported assault of Patricia Hess by her son Christopher.  As part of ...
  • Anderson v. State In Anderson v. State, the court of appeals held that an intimate relationship between a minor and a high school music teacher indicted on sexual abuse constituted a crime of domestic violence, therefore qualifying for a statutory exception to spousal immunity from adverse testimony.  A music teacher allegedly engaged in sexual relations on school grounds ...
  • Tanner v. State In Tanner v. State, governing credit for time served while subject to electronic monitoring, did not authorize credit to be awarded if a person is allowed to go grocery shopping because grocery shopping is not an implicitly authorized exception to the statute’s required restraints, and it ...
  • R.C. v. State In R.C. v. State, the court of appeals held that courts are authorized to consider a juvenile’s ability to pay when setting the amount of restitution.  In 2014, at the age of fifteen, R.C. and another juvenile started a damaging fire on an elementary school playground.  R.C. admitted guilt and was charged as a delinquent ...
  • Lambert v. State In Lambert v. State the court of appeals held that the Osborn standard does not apply to applications for post-conviction DNA testing under section 12.73 of the Alaska Statutes.  In 1982, Ann Benolken and her husband were raped and killed in a double-homicide committed by two individuals.  Lambert was convicted of the murder of Ann ...
  • Cardenas v. State In Cardenas v. State, the court of appeals held that the single-purpose container exception to the Fourth Amendment does not apply to gun cases if the incriminating nature of their contents is not immediately apparent.  Jesus Cardenas was pulled over for reckless driving and, in the course of that traffic stop, informed the officer that ...
  • State v. Groppel In State v. Groppel, the Supreme Court of Alaska held that experts appointed under section 12.47.070 of the Alaska Statutes are the court’s experts, that the superior court must appoint qualified experts from the Alaska Psychiatric Institute (API) unless there is a legitimate reason not to, and that if it appoints non-API experts, the court ...
  • Graham v. Durr In Graham v. Durr, the Alaska Supreme Court held that a defendant may, in a civil proceeding, assert his right to self-incrimination while the defendant’s direct appeal of his sentence is pending.  In August 2013, Stacey Graham struck and killed two pedestrians while driving under the influence.  In May 2014, the victims’ families filed suit against ...
  • Patterson v. Walker In Patterson v. Walker, the supreme court held that prisoners may not use a civil suit for damages to attack the validity of their criminal convictions or sentences.  After trial, Patterson was convicted of seven counts of possession of child pornography.  Two years later, Patterson filed a 121-page civil complaint alleging that various state actors ...
  • Simmons v. State, Department of Corrections In Simmons v. State, Department of Corrections, the Supreme Court of Alaska held that though AS 11.56.760 has a retroactive requirement that persons convicted of certain crimes provide a DNA sample, it is not an ex post facto law under the Constitution of Alaska.  David Simmons was found guilty of four felonies in September of ...

Criminal Law

  • Hess v. State In Hess v. State the Supreme Court of Alaska held that a prosecutor’s unsupported improper statements during closing arguments constitute plain error if they meet all four prongs of the Adams v. State test.  In September 2011, Anchorage police were called to a reported assault of Patricia Hess by her son Christopher.  As part of ...
  • Anderson v. State In Anderson v. State, the court of appeals held that an intimate relationship between a minor and a high school music teacher indicted on sexual abuse constituted a crime of domestic violence, therefore qualifying for a statutory exception to spousal immunity from adverse testimony.  A music teacher allegedly engaged in sexual relations on school grounds ...
  • Tanner v. State In Tanner v. State, governing credit for time served while subject to electronic monitoring, did not authorize credit to be awarded if a person is allowed to go grocery shopping because grocery shopping is not an implicitly authorized exception to the statute’s required restraints, and it ...
  • R.C. v. State In R.C. v. State, the court of appeals held that courts are authorized to consider a juvenile’s ability to pay when setting the amount of restitution.  In 2014, at the age of fifteen, R.C. and another juvenile started a damaging fire on an elementary school playground.  R.C. admitted guilt and was charged as a delinquent ...
  • Lambert v. State In Lambert v. State the court of appeals held that the Osborn standard does not apply to applications for post-conviction DNA testing under section 12.73 of the Alaska Statutes.  In 1982, Ann Benolken and her husband were raped and killed in a double-homicide committed by two individuals.  Lambert was convicted of the murder of Ann ...
  • Cardenas v. State In Cardenas v. State, the court of appeals held that the single-purpose container exception to the Fourth Amendment does not apply to gun cases if the incriminating nature of their contents is not immediately apparent.  Jesus Cardenas was pulled over for reckless driving and, in the course of that traffic stop, informed the officer that ...
  • State v. Groppel In State v. Groppel, the Supreme Court of Alaska held that experts appointed under section 12.47.070 of the Alaska Statutes are the court’s experts, that the superior court must appoint qualified experts from the Alaska Psychiatric Institute (API) unless there is a legitimate reason not to, and that if it appoints non-API experts, the court ...
  • Graham v. Durr In Graham v. Durr, the Alaska Supreme Court held that a defendant may, in a civil proceeding, assert his right to self-incrimination while the defendant’s direct appeal of his sentence is pending.  In August 2013, Stacey Graham struck and killed two pedestrians while driving under the influence.  In May 2014, the victims’ families filed suit against ...
  • Patterson v. Walker In Patterson v. Walker, the supreme court held that prisoners may not use a civil suit for damages to attack the validity of their criminal convictions or sentences.  After trial, Patterson was convicted of seven counts of possession of child pornography.  Two years later, Patterson filed a 121-page civil complaint alleging that various state actors ...
  • Simmons v. State, Department of Corrections In Simmons v. State, Department of Corrections, the Supreme Court of Alaska held that though AS 11.56.760 has a retroactive requirement that persons convicted of certain crimes provide a DNA sample, it is not an ex post facto law under the Constitution of Alaska.  David Simmons was found guilty of four felonies in September of ...