Year In Review

Jackson v. Borough of Haines

Posted on April 14th, 2020

In Jackson v. Borough of Haines,[1] the supreme court held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it awarded attorney’s fees in the defendant’s malicious prosecution action. Jackson was charged with disorderly conduct, assault, and resisting arrest in 2012. After a first mistrial, Jackson was convicted of all charges, although the conviction Continue Reading »

Leahy v. Conant

Posted on April 14th, 2020

In Leahy v. Conant,[1] the supreme court found the trial court’s failure to provide a pro se litigant support in filing summary judgment affidavits was not harmless. Leahy is a Muslim inmate at the Goose Creek correctional facility in Wasilla who observes halal dietary restrictions and uses scented oils in his daily prayers. Goose Creek Continue Reading »

Smith v. State

Posted on April 14th, 2020

In Smith v. State,[1] the court of appeals held that not all eligible jurors within a venue district are awarded an equal chance of serving as jurors under the Alaska constitution. The superior court judge in the defendant’s trial for alleged crimes that occurred in the predominately Alaska Native rural village of Kiana held proceedings Continue Reading »

State v. Cole

Posted on April 14th, 2020

In State v. Cole,[1] the court of appeals held the superior court did not err in allowing the introduction of a videotaped statement under Alaska Rule of Evidence 801(d)(3). A 12 year old girl (“LP”) alleged she was sexually abused by Cole on two occasions. LP gave a videotaped statement describing the abuse to the Continue Reading »

State v. Sharpe

Posted on April 14th, 2020

In State v. Sharpe, the supreme court held that Daubert/Coon determinations on the admissibility of scientific evidence should be subject to the independent judgment of the appellate court as to whether the underlying scientific theory or technique is scientifically valid under the first prong of the Daubert analysis.[1] The case consolidated three cases in which Continue Reading »

State v. Simile

Posted on April 14th, 2020

In State v. Simile,[1] the court of appeals held that a court’s sentencing authority is not limited when a court revokes a defendant’s probation for a fourth or subsequent technical violation even if the State’s petition to revoke the probation contains an allegation of absconding. The State petitioned to revoke Simile’s probation based on one Continue Reading »

Adams v. State

Posted on April 14th, 2020

In Adams v. State,[1] the court of appeals held that the prosecutor’s closing argument was improper because she incorrectly led the jury to believe that the judge could fix an errant verdict. During closing argument of Adams’ murder trial, the defense attorney compared the “reasonable doubt” standard to the level of confidence in making the Continue Reading »

Allison v. State

Posted on April 14th, 2020

In Allison v. State,[1] the court of appeals held that the trial court committed prejudicial error in excluding evidence regarding the alleged victim’s potential Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) in defendant’s second-degree murder trial. Clayton Allison was charged with manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, and second-degree murder after his 15-month old daughter, J.A., suffered a fatal injury while Continue Reading »

Alvarado v. State

Posted on April 14th, 2020

In Alvarado v. State,[1] the court of appeals held that an erroneous instruction regarding a judicially noticed fact was not grounds for an automatic reversal of a conviction. Alvarado was charged with three criminal offenses for which age was a necessary element. At trial, the prosecutor requested the judge take judicial notice of Alvarado’s date Continue Reading »

Alvarez-Perdomo v. State

Posted on April 14th, 2020

In Alvarez-Perdomo v. State,[1] the supreme court held that a violation of the constitutional right against self-incrimination is structural error warranting automatic reversal. During his criminal trial, defendant Alvarez-Perdomo gave indirect, equivocal, and confused answers in response to the court’s repeated attempts to personally confirm that he intended to waive his right to testify. After Continue Reading »

Year In Review

Jackson v. Borough of Haines

Posted on April 14th, 2020

In Jackson v. Borough of Haines,[1] the supreme court held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it awarded attorney’s fees in the defendant’s malicious prosecution action. Jackson was charged with disorderly conduct, assault, and resisting arrest in 2012. After a first mistrial, Jackson was convicted of all charges, although the conviction Continue Reading »

Leahy v. Conant

Posted on April 14th, 2020

In Leahy v. Conant,[1] the supreme court found the trial court’s failure to provide a pro se litigant support in filing summary judgment affidavits was not harmless. Leahy is a Muslim inmate at the Goose Creek correctional facility in Wasilla who observes halal dietary restrictions and uses scented oils in his daily prayers. Goose Creek Continue Reading »

Smith v. State

Posted on April 14th, 2020

In Smith v. State,[1] the court of appeals held that not all eligible jurors within a venue district are awarded an equal chance of serving as jurors under the Alaska constitution. The superior court judge in the defendant’s trial for alleged crimes that occurred in the predominately Alaska Native rural village of Kiana held proceedings Continue Reading »

State v. Cole

Posted on April 14th, 2020

In State v. Cole,[1] the court of appeals held the superior court did not err in allowing the introduction of a videotaped statement under Alaska Rule of Evidence 801(d)(3). A 12 year old girl (“LP”) alleged she was sexually abused by Cole on two occasions. LP gave a videotaped statement describing the abuse to the Continue Reading »

State v. Sharpe

Posted on April 14th, 2020

In State v. Sharpe, the supreme court held that Daubert/Coon determinations on the admissibility of scientific evidence should be subject to the independent judgment of the appellate court as to whether the underlying scientific theory or technique is scientifically valid under the first prong of the Daubert analysis.[1] The case consolidated three cases in which Continue Reading »

State v. Simile

Posted on April 14th, 2020

In State v. Simile,[1] the court of appeals held that a court’s sentencing authority is not limited when a court revokes a defendant’s probation for a fourth or subsequent technical violation even if the State’s petition to revoke the probation contains an allegation of absconding. The State petitioned to revoke Simile’s probation based on one Continue Reading »

Adams v. State

Posted on April 14th, 2020

In Adams v. State,[1] the court of appeals held that the prosecutor’s closing argument was improper because she incorrectly led the jury to believe that the judge could fix an errant verdict. During closing argument of Adams’ murder trial, the defense attorney compared the “reasonable doubt” standard to the level of confidence in making the Continue Reading »

Allison v. State

Posted on April 14th, 2020

In Allison v. State,[1] the court of appeals held that the trial court committed prejudicial error in excluding evidence regarding the alleged victim’s potential Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) in defendant’s second-degree murder trial. Clayton Allison was charged with manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, and second-degree murder after his 15-month old daughter, J.A., suffered a fatal injury while Continue Reading »

Alvarado v. State

Posted on April 14th, 2020

In Alvarado v. State,[1] the court of appeals held that an erroneous instruction regarding a judicially noticed fact was not grounds for an automatic reversal of a conviction. Alvarado was charged with three criminal offenses for which age was a necessary element. At trial, the prosecutor requested the judge take judicial notice of Alvarado’s date Continue Reading »

Alvarez-Perdomo v. State

Posted on April 14th, 2020

In Alvarez-Perdomo v. State,[1] the supreme court held that a violation of the constitutional right against self-incrimination is structural error warranting automatic reversal. During his criminal trial, defendant Alvarez-Perdomo gave indirect, equivocal, and confused answers in response to the court’s repeated attempts to personally confirm that he intended to waive his right to testify. After Continue Reading »