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The Defender Services Office Training Division furthers the right to effective assistance of counsel by providing training and other resources to attorneys appointed under the Criminal Justice Act.





Supreme Court Takes Cases Addressing 5th Amendment Right Against Self-Incrimination, SORNA, and Hobbs Act Interpretation of Property

On Friday, January 11, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in three cases of interest to federal criminal defense practitioners: Salinas v. Texas (No. 12-246); United States v. Kebodeaux (No. 12-418); and Sekhar v. United States (No. 12-357).

In Salinas the question presented is "Whether or under what circumstances the Fifth Amendment's self-incrimination clause protects a defendant's refusal to answer law enforcement questioning before he has been arrested or read his Miranda rights."

In Kebodeax the Court will address two questions: (1) "Whether the court of appeals erred in conducting its constitutional analysis on the premise that respondent was not under a federal registration obligation until SORNA was enacted, when pre-SORNA federal law obligated him to register as a sex offender."  (2) "Whether the court of appeals erred in holding that Congress lacks the Article I authority to provide for criminal penalties under 18 U.S.C. 2250(a)(2)(A), as applied to a person who was convicted of a sex offense under federal law and completed his criminal sentence before SORNA was enacted."

The question presented in Sekhar is: "Whether the 'recommendation' of an attorney, who is a salaried employee of a governmental agency, in a single instance, is intangible property that can be the subject of an extortion attempt under 18 U.S.C. §1951(a)(the Hobbs Act) and 18 U.S.C. §875(d)."
 

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