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Posts tagged "Criminal Law"


In an important new criminal law decision, The Court of Appeals of Washington reversed a conviction in a vehicular homicide case in State v. Imokawa. The court held that the jury instructions did not make it reasonably clear that the state had to disprove alternate causation of the accident which led to the fatal injury. I was co-counsel on appeal with the trial lawyer who tried the case.

Washington Court Gives Constitutional Privacy Protection to Homeless Man

In an important criminal law decision regarding the right to privacy, the Washington Court of Appeals recently decided that the police could not enter a homeless person's tent/tarp shelter without a warrant. The decision recognizes that under Washington's Constitution, Article I, §7,  a homeless person should have the same rights to privacy in his makeshift shelter that other Washington residents have in their homes or apartments.

Prosecutorial misconduct causes reversal of murder conviction

in  an important case involving prosecutorial misconduct during closing argument, the Washington Supreme Court  reversed a first degree murder conviction in State v. Walker. The decision was announced on January 22, 2015, and reaffirms the criminal law requirement of a fair jury trial.

Washington Supreme Court Clarifies Criminal Law Burden of Proof

The Washington Supreme Court  decided State v. W.R. on October 30, 2014 and clarified the burden of proof in rape cases. The juvenile defendant  (W.R.) was charged with second degree rape. In a bench trial, since jury trials are not allowed in juvenile  court under Washington criminal law, the trial judge found W.R guilty of second degree rape. The defense had argued that the sexual intercourse between W. R. and another juvenile had been consensual. The trial court ruled that the defendant had not proven consent and that he had the burden to do so. 

Is Privacy Dead in Washington State?

In the age of Facebook, where people post the most interesting (and potentially embarrassing) things about themselves, are people really concerned about their right to privacy?  In Washington, our state constitution has a very explicit protection of the right to privacy: