Articles Posted in Criminal Law and Justice

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September 13-17, 2010.

Criminal Law & Procedure

United States First Circuit, 09/14/2010
Merlonghi v. US
In plaintiff’s suit against the United States under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), for the actions of a U.S. Special Agent, involving an automobile accident, district court’s grant of government’s motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction is affirmed as plaintiff’s claim under 28 U.S.C. section 1346(b)(1) was properly dismissed for lack of jurisdiction because the agent was not acting within the scope of his employment when he crashed into plaintiff during a car chase. .

United States First Circuit, 09/16/2010
Fusi v. O’Brien
District court’s denial of defendant’s request for habeas relief from his rape conviction is vacated and remanded as the district court should have dismissed the petition without prejudice because the defendant failed to exhaust his ineffective assistance of counsel claim in state court. .

United States First Circuit, 09/16/2010
Gautier v. Wall
Defendant’s application for a certificate of appealability is denied and the judgment of the district court is vacated as the court lacked jurisdiction to consider defendant’s second or successive petition without authorization, and not one of defendant’s claims meets the gatekeeping requirements of section 2244(b).
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Approved by the ABA House of Delegates

Sept. 2010

At the 2010 Annual Meeting in San Francisco, the House of Delegates approved resolutions that the Criminal Justice Section initiated or co-sponsored regarding the following issues (click on the relevant REPORT # to view the full text of the resolution and the background report):

Judge Wesley E. Brown, is a spry, active 103 year old Federal District Court judge in Kansas. He still hears a full complement of criminal cases, but warns lawyers preparing for lengthly court cases that “he may not live to see cases to completion….” adding “At this age I’m not even buying green bananas.”

For more, see the September 16 New York times article: At 103, a Judge Has One Caveat, No Lengthly Trials by A. G. Sulzberger
For more information about Judge Brown go to Wesley E. Brown Inn of Court. This source includes both biographical information and a videw, made when Judge Brown was just 22 years old!

Click on link below for various information sources related to criminal jurisdiction collected through the Google News Alert Service, September 13, 2010.


By john Floyd and Paralegal Billy Sinclair Current Eyewitness Identification Procedure Reinforce False Memories and Lead to Wrongful Convictions By: Houston Criminal Lawyer John Floyd and Paralegal Billy Sinclair There have been 258 DNA exonerations in this country over the last two decades, according to the New … Even conservative, law-and-order minded Texans have grown weary and disgusted with repeated, highly publicized cases of innocent people being wrongfully convicted and who have spent decades in prison. …

A selected list of CRS Reports posted between August 11, 2010 and September 10, 2010. Although almost all of the CRS Reports in the following list relate in some way to crime and criminal justice, a few addressing other topics where readers have expressed an interest have also been included.:

Deprivation of Honest Services as a Basis for Federal Mail and Wire Fraud Convictions

Report No. R40852 Subjects: Criminal Justice CRS Reports, 111th Congress (7/28/2010; Posted: 8/11/2010)

CRS Report No. R41349; 8/16/2010; Posted 9/7/2010 Author(s): Clare Ribando Seelke, Specialist in Latin American Affairs; Kristin M. Finklea, Analyst in Domestic Security Subject(s): Mexico; Criminal Justice; Drug Abuse

No. of Pages: 35


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August 16-20, 2010.

United States First Circuit, 08/17/2010
US v. Donath
Defendant’s appeal of his conviction for his participation in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine and other drugs and a below-guidelines sentence of 90-months’ imprisonment is dismissed as defendant’s waiver of his right to appeal his plea or sentence if it did not exceed 120 months as part of his plea agreement is enforceable and his argument that district court’s error in calculating his sentence by mischaracterizing his prior crimes constituted a miscarriage of justice is meritless.

United States First Circuit, 08/17/2010
Grant v. Warden, Maine State Prison
District court’s denial of defendant’s request for habeas relief from his murder conviction of his mother-in-law is affirmed where: 1) the Maine Supreme Judicial Court’s (SJC) application of the general standard announced in Mosley to the particular facts of defendant’s case falls within the broad limits of reasonableness; and 2) regardless of whether the SJC described its analysis as a “totality of the circumstances” test or a four-factor test, its conclusion was not an unreasonable application of Mosley.

United States Second Circuit, 08/16/2010
Friedman v. Rehal
In a sexual abuse prosecution, the denial of petitioner’s habeas petition is affirmed where: 1) the fact that hypnosis may have been used to stimulate alleged victims’ memory recall and potentially induce false memories of abuse was a circumstance that would fit comfortably under the general understanding of impeachment evidence — evidence that “is offered to discredit a witness . . . to reduce the effectiveness of [her] testimony by bringing forth evidence which explains why the jury should not put faith in [her] or [her] testimony”; and 2) even if hypnosis evidence comes within Brady’s broader definition of exculpatory evidence, the petition would still have to be denied Continue reading

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August 2-6, 2010.

United States Second Circuit, 08/02/2010
US v. Johnson
Defendant’s sentence for being a felon in possession of a firearm is affirmed where a violation of Connecticut General Statute section 53a-179b (Rioting at a correctional institution) qualified as a “violent felony” under the Armed Career Criminal Act.

United States Second Circuit, 08/02/2010
Scott v. Fischer
In an action claiming that defendants deprived plaintiff of liberty without due process of law both by placing her on mandatory post-release supervision without a proper judicial sentence and by failing to take action to remove the supervision before or after she was rearrested for violating the terms thereof, dismissal of the action is affirmed where defendants were entitled to qualified immunity for all actions they took prior to the Second Circuit’s decision in Earley v. Murray, 451 F.3d 71 (2d Cir. 2006), and further, plaintiff has not pleaded sufficient facts to state a claim upon which relief can be granted for any actions the defendants took thereafter. ..

United States Second Circuit, 08/03/2010
US v. Broxmeyer
Defendant’s convictions for production of child pornography and for transportation of a minor across state lines with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity are reversed where: 1) the prosecution failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant persuaded, induced, or enticed the victim to take Photos 1 and 2; and 2) an 18 U.S.C. section 2423(a) conviction cannot lie where the unlawful sexual act occurs before the crossing of state lines, and where there is no evidence of an intent to commit a sexual act when state lines were crossed.
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