FIRST CIRCUIT UPHOLDS ADMISSION OF SIMILAR CRIMES

Federal Rules of Evidence Rule 404(b) states: (1) Prohibited Uses. Evidence of a crime, wrong, or other act is not admissible to prove a person’s character in order to show that on a particular occasion the person acted in accordance with the character. (2) Permitted Uses; Notice in a Criminal Case. This evidence may be admissible for another purpose, such as proving motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, absence of mistake, or lack of accident. . . In United […] Read more »

CHILD PORNOGRAPHY SENTENCE REVERSED

Gary Cossey plead guilty in the Northern District Court for the State of New York to possession of child pornography. He was sentenced to 78 months and he was placed on supervised release for the rest of his life. At his sentencing hearing reports from two psychiatrists were introduced. They found him unlikely to reoffend. The judge said that he did not trust such evidence and that he expected that within fifty years a gene would be discovered that proved […] Read more »

DELAWARE SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS VEHICLE SEARCH

The Delaware Supreme Court upheld drug and driving charges against Brandon Hill. New Castle County, Delaware Police conducted random vehicle registration searches along Route 273. They stopped Hill and discovered that he had a suspended license, lacked proper registration and proof of insurance. Officer Torres ran Hill’s record. It came back that he may be armed and dangerous. After a back up officer arrived Hill was pat searched. They found $390 in cash and a number of cell phones. They […] Read more »

SUPREME COURT REJECTS SECOND CIRCUIT’S EX POST FACTO RULE

Glen Marcus was convicted of engaging in unlawful forced labor and sex trafficking between January 1999 and October 2001. The problem is the statute making forced labor and sex trafficking illegal was not enacted until 2000. Therefore much of the evidence at trial concerned acts that were legal at the time they were committed. Of course someone cannot be convicted for committing a legal act. The Constitution and basic rules of fairness prohibit ex post facto laws which penalize events […] Read more »

GOVERNMENT DISAVOWAL OF PLEA BARGAIN SUBJECT TO PLAIN ERROR RULE

The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the failure of an attorney to object to the government’s disavowal of a plea bargain is subject to the plain error rule. Normally the failure of a side to object to an error before the trial court forfeits the right to raise the issue on appeal. Under the Plain Error Rule (Section 51(b) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure) an issue may be raised on appeal even if it was not raised in […] Read more »