COURT FINDS STANDING TO REJECT SEARCH IN COMMON AREA OF MULTI-RESIDENT HOUSE

Law enforcement officers got an arrest warrant for Jeanine Daley in Brockton, Massachusetts. An informant told them that she recently saw Daley at 63 Menlo Street, a known sober residence and that Daley was hanging out there. The residence was a three story single family house with a number of non-related individuals living in it. Though the warrant had another address on it two officers went to the address where they confronted Jeffrey Cicerano, who’s name was on the lease. […] Read more »

FIFTH CIRCUIT ORDERS RESENTENCING IN CRACK CASES

Cedric Henderson, Jr., Donavan Barrington McClune, and Bobby Kirkendoll were convicted in separate matters of crimes involving crack cocaine. They applied to their respective courts pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) for a sentence reduction. Under this section inmates may apply for a sentence reduction, if following their sentencing, the United States Sentencing Commission reduces the guidelines for the offense of conviction. In 2007 the Sentencing Commission reduced by two levels the guideline for most crack cocaine offenses, in order […] Read more »

APPELLATE COURT REJECTS STIPULATION OF ELEMENTS TO AN OFFENSE

Joemon D. Higden was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. In order to convict him the government had to prove three elements: (1) the defendant has been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year; (2) the defendant knowingly possessed the firearm; and (3) the firearm had travelled in interstate commerce. The prosecution and the defense stipulated to the first and the third elements. Instead of instructing the jury on all […] Read more »

BIG MOUTH–EASY CONVICTION

The Department of Homeland Security learned that there was pornography on computers at Terry Boll’s residence. They got a search warrant. They discover that seven people live in the house and there are ten computers. Eventually they learn that there is child porn on three of the computers and that two of these computers belong to Boll. This should be the end of the case. There is no way the government is going to be able to prove beyond a […] Read more »

NINTH CIRCUIT UPHOLDS EXPORT LICENSING OF TECHNOLOGY IN FACE OF VOID FOR VAGUENESS CHALLENGE

Zhi Yong Guo, a Chinese citizens was convicted of conspiring to export thermal imaging cameras to China and attempting to export the equipment without a license. Thermal imaging cameras are a relatively new technological device used for among other things night vision and discovering structural problems in construction. They detect infrared heat and through the use of a computer create an image of the object releasing the heat. Guo is an engineer and owner of a company dedicated to developing […] Read more »

FEDERAL PROSECUTIONS INCREASE SLIGHTLY

The Administrative Office of the United States Courts released it’s statistical report for 2009-2010. Overall the number of criminal cases prosecuted in the Federal Courts increased slightly but violent crimes decreased by 7.4 percent. The report, of course, only covers those prosecuted in Federal Court. The vast majority of people prosecuted for crimes in this country are charged in state courts, although the trend seems to be to increase the number and types of cases prosecuted in the Federal Courts. […] Read more »

RIGHT TO APPEAL A SENTENCING VARIANCE DENIED

Marcus Eugene Jacobs plead guilty to possessing stolen mail. As part of the plea agreement he agreed to waive his right to appeal. However an exception was allowed if the court upwardly departed from the guidelines, not requested by the government. Jacobs’ guidelines were four to ten months. The government recommended seven months. In taking the plea the judge was very careful to make sure that Jacobs understood that he was waiving the right to appeal unless the judge granted […] Read more »

NINTH CIRCUIT REINSTATES HIJAB SUIT

The Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (“RLUIPA”) prevents governmental bodies from placing a substantial burden on an individual’s religious activity by its land use policy or in institutions including jails and pretrial detention centers built with Federal money. The statute reads in pertinent part: (1) GENERAL RULE- No government shall impose or implement a land use regulation in a manner that imposes a substantial burden on the religious exercise of a person, including a religious assembly […] Read more »

SECOND CIRCUIT REINSTATES CONVICTION FOR CONSPIRACY

A jury in the Northern District of New York found Mark Desnoyers guilty on a number of counts including conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act and to commit mail fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371. The judge overruled the jury and entered a judgment of acquittal on the conspiracy count finding the evidence both factually and legally insufficiency. Factual insufficiency is fairly easy to understand. If no rational jury could find the defendant guilty based upon the […] Read more »