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May 3-7, 2010
U.S. Supreme Court, May 03, 2010 Renico v. Lett, No. 09–338 In a murder prosecution, a grant of petitioner’s habeas petition is reversed where it was reasonable for the Michigan Supreme Court to determine that the trial judge had exercised sound discretion in declaring a mistrial, and thus the state court’s decision was not an unreasonable application of clearly established federal law under a proper application of the AEDPA’s deferential standard of review. .
U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, May 03, 2010 US v. Guzman, No. 08-1693 Conviction and life sentence of defendant for his role in an arson that killed a mother and her infant daughter are affirmed where: 1) there was no error in the denial of defendant’s motion to suppress statements made to ATF agents; 2) there was no error in the court’s exclusion of hearsay statements offered by defendant and limits on cross-examination; 3) district court correctly found a jurisdictional nexus with interstate commerce; and 4) defendant was properly sentenced as the district court’s failure to explain the sentence was not plain error, correctly applied the sentencing guidelines and the life sentence was substantively reasonable.
U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, May 03, 2010 US v. Aranjo , No. 08-2307 Convictions of a former CEO of a federal credit union and her husband for conspiracy to embezzle and to make false entries, and other related crimes, are affirmed where: 1) the defendants’ Batson claims are rejected as district judge did not clearly err in accepting the proffered reasons with respect to the government’s peremptory challenge of an African-American juror; and 2) the husband’s remaining claims are rejected as sufficient evidence supported his convictions.
U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, May 05, 2010 US v. Hernandez, No. 09-1421 Defendant’s drug conspiracy sentence is vacated where the district court evidently started with an assumption, invalid after so long an interval, that the baseline for the re-sentencing was the sentence imposed in 1991, and thereby failed to properly consider the factors set out in 18 U.S.C. section 3553(a) — particularly defendant’s submission of evidence of rehabilitation — at the time of re-sentencing. .
U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, May 05, 2010 US v. Torres, No. 09-1771 Defendant’s drug conspiracy conviction is reversed where the trial evidence was insufficient to permit the jury to find beyond a reasonable doubt that he had knowledge that the purpose of the conspiracy of which he was found to be a member was the distribution of narcotics.
U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, May 04, 2010 Estate of Oliva v. Dep’t of Law & Pub. Safety , No. 09-2082 In an action by the estate of a now deceased state trooper who committed suicide, claiming harassment by numerous individuals connected with the State Police for his objections to what he believed was a State Police practice to profile motorists when making traffic stops, a grant of summary judgment to defendants and denial of plaintiff’s leave to amend his complaint is affirmed as plaintiff is not entitled to relief as he has failed to establish that his section 1981, 1985(3) and other various statutory causes of action can be sustained according to their requirements or establish that the district court abused its discretion in denying him leave to amend his complaint.
U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, May 06, 2010 Dique v. New Jersey State Police, No. 05-1159 In plaintiff’s Fourteenth Amendment claim for selective-enforcement, arising from his 1990 traffic stop that led to his conviction for drug related offenses which was vacated in 2002 on the ground that colorable issues of racial profiling existed at the time of the arrest, district court’s dismissal of the claim as time barred is affirmed where: 1) under Wallace v. Kato, 549 U.S. 384 (2007), in a case of selective-enforcement, it will no longer be required that the complainant have been convicted and have had that conviction reversed, expunged or invalidated, and the statute of limitations begins to run at the time the claimant becomes detained pursuant to legal process; and 2) plaintiff asserted his selective-enforcement claim over two years after July 2001, when his attorney became aware of the extensive documents describing the State’s pervasive selective enforcement practices, that plaintiff discovered, or by exercise of reasonable diligence should have discovered that h! e might have a basis for an actionable claim.
U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 05, 2010 US v. Bynum, No. 08-4207 Conviction of defendant for transporting and possessing child pornography and a 192-month sentence are affirmed where: 1) the FBI’s administrative subpoenas did not invade any legitimate privacy interest possessed by defendant; 2) defendant’s challenge to the sufficiency of the affidavit supporting the search warrant is rejected; 3) defendant’s evidentiary challenges are rejected; 4) district court did not abuse its discretion in admitting an analyst’s testimony to determine the authenticity of child pornography; and 5) the within-Guidelines sentence is substantively reasonable. ..
U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 05, 2010 US v. Dean, No. 08-4439 District court’s imposition of a career offender sentence enhancement upon a defendant for his drug possession conviction is affirmed as the district court was justified in its finding that defendant’s prior drug felony offenses were separated by an intervening arrest and thus that defendant qualified for a career offender enhancement.
U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 04, 2010 US v. Lazar, No. 08-5653 In a prosecution of a pediatric doctor for health care fraud and related crimes, district court’s grant of defendant’s motion to suppress evidence seized from two medical officers is affirmed in part, vacated in part and remanded where: 1) a lack of formal incorporation by reference into the warrants does not justify a finding of facial insufficiency as the search warrants incorporated any patient list presented to the issuing judge; 2) district court’s suppression of defendant’s patient files is vacated to determine which list, if any, came before the issuing Magistrate judge, and to suppress only patient files seized beyond the scope of such list as required under Groh v. Ramirez; 3) suppression of the non-patient file evidence was proper; 4) the inevitable discovery doctrine was inapplicable; and 5) the district court’s finding that the warrants lacked probable cause to believe that the patients’ medical records would be found in the defendant’s medical offices is reverse! d as probable cause supported the warrants. .
U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 06, 2010 Flanory v. Bonn , No. 09-1161 In a pro se prisoner’s section 1983 suit against various prison officials and others claiming violation of his Eighth Amendment right, dismissal of the complaint for failure to state a claim is reversed and remanded as plaintiff has made allegations which satisfy the objective and subjective components required for an Eighth Amendment violation as he has alleged that he was completely denied certain hygiene items and that he specifically was without toothpaste for a period of 337 days, and he also alleged that defendants were aware that he was without toothpaste and were deliberately indifferent to his hygiene needs.
U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 03, 2010 Thomas v. Cook County, No. 08-2232 In plaintiff’s 42 U.S.C. section 1983 suit against a county, county sheriff, and correctional officers, arising from her son’s death of pneumococcal meningitis less than a week later following his detention at the county jail, judgment of the district court is affirmed in part and reversed in part where: 1) district court’s denial of the officers’ and county’s motions for judgment as a matter of law and for a new trial are affirmed as the jury had sufficient evidence to impose liability against the officers for their deliberate indifference to the detainee’s medical needs and evidence was sufficient for a reasonable jury to conclude that the county had a widespread policy of disregarding detainees’ medical requests; 2) however, judgment denying the sheriff’s motion is reversed as there is insufficient evidence to hold the sheriff liable as the causal connection between the sheriff’s policies and practices and detainee’s death is tenuous in light of the jury’s finding that in! dividual correctional officers deliberately disregarded his medical needs; 3) absence of sheriff’s liability does not affect the jury’s compensatory damage award as the parties are jointly and severally liable for the entire award; 4) the $4 million-plus damage award for constitutional violations that resulted in death is not excessive; and 5) none of the defendants’ evidentiary challenges warrant a reversal.
U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 03, 2010 Goudy v. Basinger, No. 08-3679 District court’s denial of defendant’s petition for habeas relief is reversed and remanded where: 1) the Court of Appeals of Indiana unreasonably applied federal law when it determined that prior statements of identification by witnesses the government suppressed did not create a reasonable probability of a different result in defendant’s trial; and 2) because the Brady error alone denied defendant a fair trial, the question of whether he also was denied the effective assistance of counsel need not be reached.
U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 03, 2010 Vince v. Rock County, No. 10-1659 In plaintiff’s civil rights suit, arising from a beating he suffered by inmates in a county jail, claiming that he should not have been h0oused in the jail’s general population as he was a longtime confidential informant for the county law enforcement agencies, plaintiff’s appeal of the magistrate judge’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendants is timely as counsel’s failure to electronically transmit plaintiff’s notice of appeal with the proper code was an error of form.
U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 04, 2010 US v. DeLeon , No. 07-3941 District court’s imposition of a within-Guidelines sentence of 104 months upon a defendant convicted of counterfeiting pursuant to a blind plea is affirmed where: 1) the district court properly applied the obstruction of justice enhancement in concluding that defendant willfully lied in his motion to withdraw his guilty plea; and 2) the district court did not err in denying an acceptance of responsibility reduction.
U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 04, 2010 Welch v. US , No. 08-3108 District court’s denial of defendant’s motion under 28 U.S.C. section 2255 to vacate his sentence of 180-months for being convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm is affirmed as a prior conviction for the Illinois offense of aggravated fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer was properly treated as a “violent felony” under the ACCA, as was his prior juvenile adjudication.
U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 05, 2010 Berry v. Peterman, No. 09-3557 In an inmate’s 42 U.S.C. section 1983 suit against a nurse, a doctor and jail administrator for violating his Eighth Amendment right for refusing to refer him to a dentist for a serious toothache, district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of defendants is affirmed in part and reversed in part where: 1) district court’s conclusion that plaintiff has raised a genuine issue of material fact as to whether he exhausted his administrative remedies is proper; 2) district court correctly held that plaintiff suffered a serious medical condition and that the jail administrator is entitled to summary judgment because he was not deliberately indifferent to plaintiff’s situation; but 3) plaintiff has offered sufficient evidence from which a reasonable jury could infer that the doctor and nurse acted with deliberate indifference toward his condition by persisting in an easy but ineffective course of treatment that subjected him to two months of serious but avoidable pain.
U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 05, 2010 Stuart v. Rech, No. 09-3857 In a pro se defendant’s pleading filed in the district court, captioned “replevin,” seeking return of his property seized by an IRS agent during execution of a search warrant, district judge’s dismissal on the ground that it was “equivalent” to the Rule 41(g) motion previously denied by a magistrate judge is affirmed as the pleading was properly denied, but not on the ground decided by the district judge, as it was a bona fide civil complaint and not a Rule 41(g) motion, but it had no possible merit.
U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 06, 2010 US v. England, No. 09-2500 In defendant’s third appeal of his sentence from his conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm and obstruction crimes, imposition of a 210-month sentence is affirmed as the sentence is reasonable and, although there was confusion in the second hearing about the district court’s reliance on a finding that defendant would have attempted murder had he not been incarcerated, the district court cleared up that issue at the third sentencing hearing by explicitly stating that it was not relying on that finding.
U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 07, 2010 Wragg v. Village of Thornton , No. 08-3766 In a sixteen-year-old’s 42 U.S.C. section 1983 suit against a village and individual defendants, alleging his substantive due process rights were violated by the defendants’ deliberate retention of a fire chief, who molested him, despite knowledge of his prior improprieties with other minors, summary judgment in favor of the defendants is affirmed where: 1) the village is not liable for retaining the fire chief because a quorum of the village’s board of trustees had no knowledge of his prior sexual misconduct; and 2) plaintiff presented insufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to find that the president knew that retaining the fire chief posed a substantial risk to plaintiff.
U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 04, 2010 US v. Hall, No. 09-1263 Defendant’s conviction and sentence for mail and wire fraud are affirmed where: 1) evidence regarding one of the trusts involved in the charged fraudulent scheme was inextricably intertwined with the indictment and thus properly admitted; and 2) even if defendant’s website did not convince any of defendant’s victims to invest and was not widely viewed, the district court nonetheless did not err in applying the mass-marketing enhancement. .
U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 04, 2010 US v. Statman, No. 09-1452 Defendants’ wire fraud sentences are affirmed where: 1) nothing in 18 U.S.C. section 3553(a) or in the Booker remedy opinion required robotic incantations that each statutory factor had been considered; 2) the district court considered the relevant factors and provided a reasoned basis for its sentence; and 3) the district court did not clearly err in relying on the detailed testimony of Arkansas Development Finance Authority employees, or in adopting the government’s proposed restitution figure.
U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 04, 2010 US v. Buchanan, No. 09-2569 Defendant’s drug and firearm possession convictions are affirmed where: 1) the imprint on defendant’s gun, and the matching markings on defendant’s key and safe inscription were not hearsay; 2) the district court appropriately treated defendant’s safe as chattel, and thus the best evidence rule did not apply; 3) defense counsel did not move for a continuance or argue to the district court that if he had received earlier notice of the government’s expert evidence, then he would have been able to move for its exclusion or present a more effective defense; and 4) the evidence cited by the district court sufficiently established that defendant constructively possessed the drugs.
U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 06, 2010 US v. Hamilton, No. 09-2687 Defendant’s sentence for being a felon in possession of an explosive device and possession of an unregistered destructive device is affirmed where defendant forfeited his right to challenge the classification of a prior state conviction as a crime of violence.
U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 07, 2010 Allen v. US Air Force, No. 08-3450 In an action against the Air Force and nineteen individuals in the district court for the District of North Dakota, claiming that plaintiff’s Sixth Amendment speedy trial rights were violated in a court-martial, summary judgment for defendants is affirmed where: 1) the military court fully and fairly considered the issue of whether the charges preferred against plaintiff on February 18, 2004, were dismissed by the general court-martial convening authority on August 27, 2004; 2) even if plaintiff was correct that the military court should have included the entire period from the first preferral of charge and specifications in February 2004, to the court-martial in March 2006, in its speedy trial analysis, plaintiff still would not be entitled to relief under the Sixth Amendment for violation of his speedy trial rights.
U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 07, 2010 US v. Garcia, No. 09-1596 Defendant’s sentence for failing to register as a sex offender is affirmed where 1) defendant was, at all times, properly informed of the correct potential term of ten years’ incarceration for his offense; 2) defendant failed to object to the presentence report statements that differed from the advice he previously received; and 3) it was reasonable to infer that Garcia desired to avoid detection by law enforcement ultimately to avoid any of the countless burdens attendant to registration.
U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 07, 2010 US v. Cook, No. 09-1901 Defendant’s conviction for unlawful possession of ammunition as a convicted felon is affirmed where: 1) considering the evidence as a whole, the court could not say that no reasonable jury could have found Cook guilty; and 2) although it appeared that the district court mistakenly referred to the earlier version of an instruction, the instructions as a whole were not plainly erroneous.
U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 03, 2010 US v. Moreland, No. 05-30541 Defendant’s convictions for mail and wire fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and money laundering are affirmed in part where: 1) defendant’s waiver of his right to counsel was not conditioned on specific assurances from the district court regarding the level of participation he could expect from standby counsel; 2) defendant’s ineffective assistance claims were more appropriate for collateral proceedings; 3) the district court did not abuse its discretion in granting only a two-week continuance because the need for a continuance was defendant’s fault; 4) even though the prosecution’s questioning was improper, it did not amount to plain error; 5) the prosecutor’s statements in closing argument were reasonable based on the evidence; and 6) the prosecution did not waive its right to seek restitution. However, certain convictions, and defendant’s sentence, are reversed where the money laundering jury instructions should have defined proceeds a! s profits.
U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 03, 2010 US v. Rich, No. 08-30153 In a prosecution for securities fraud, bank fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering, obstruction of justice, and filing a false tax return, following defendant’s death, the restitution order against defendant is abated where the restitution order encompassed monies beyond the proceeds of defendant’s fraud. However, the district court is directed to retain jurisdiction over the receivership created to preserve the proceeds of the fraudulent scheme where, because of his stipulation to a permanent receivership, defendant could not after death had abated his conviction, challenge the receiver’s power to repay victims.
U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 03, 2010 Khatib v. Cty. of Orange, No. 08-56423 In an action alleging a violation of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) because correctional officers required plaintiff, against her Muslim religious beliefs and practice, to remove her hijab, or headscarf, in public, the dismissal of the complaint is affirmed where a courthouse holding cell was not an “institution” as defined by RLUIPA.
U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 03, 2010 US v. Coronado, No. 09-50154 Defendant’s firearm possession sentence is vacated where a conviction under a statute proscribing grossly negligent conduct, even though it involves an intentional and potentially dangerous act, was not a “crime of violence” within the meaning of U.S.S.G. section 4B1.2(a).
U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 04, 2010 Hayward v. Marshall, No. 06-55392 In a habeas petition challenging the denial of petitioner’s parole, the denial of the petition is affirmed where: 1) a prisoner must obtain a certificate of appealability from administrative decisions such as denial of parole and prison transfer; 2) in the absence of state law establishing otherwise, there was no federal constitutional requirement that parole be granted in the absence of “some evidence” of future dangerousness or anything else; and 3) there was some evidence of petitioner’s future dangerousness.
U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 04, 2010 US v. Struckman, No. 08-30463 Defendant’s firearm possession conviction is reversed where exigent circumstances did not justify the police’s warrantless arrest and entry into defendant’s backyard, and thus the firearm should have been suppressed. Police officers must either obtain a warrant or consent to enter before arresting a person inside a home or its curtilage or make a reasonable attempt to ascertain that he is actually a trespasser before making the arrest.
U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 04, 2010 US v. Stever, No. 09-30004 Defendant’s drug conspiracy conviction is reversed where: 1) the evidence as to which defendant requested discovery, if it existed, tended to show that a Mexican drug trafficking organization (DTO), not defendant, planted the marijuana at issue; and 2) the combination of this discovery ruling and the in limine exclusion of all evidence about Mexican DTOs violated his Sixth Amendment right to present a defense.
U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 05, 2010 Florer v. Congregation Pidyon Shevuyim, No. 07-35866 In an action under 42 U.S.C. section 1983 and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act claiming that defendants improperly denied or substantially burdened plaintiff-prisoner’s access to Jewish religious materials and services, summary judgment for defendants is reversed where there was a genuine issue as to whether defendants were willful participants in joint action with prison officials to determine eligibility for access to Jewish materials and services, for purposes of acting under color of state law.
U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 05, 2010 Collins v. Runnels, No. 08-17299 In a prosecution for first degree murder and second degree robbery, a denial of petitioner’s habeas petition is affirmed where clearly established Supreme Court precedent binding on the states did not require trial severance where a co-defendant presented a mutually antagonistic defense, because the cases upon which defendant relied for this argument did not bind the states, so the decision of the California Court of Appeal was not contrary to or an unreasonable application of clearly established federal law as determined by the Supreme Court.
U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 05, 2010 US v. Mousavi, No. 08-50454 Defendant’s convictions for, inter alia, willfully providing services to Iran in violation of the International Economic Emergency Powers Act (IEEPA), and the Iranian Transaction Regulations (ITR), commonly referred to as the U.S.’s trade embargo against Iran, are affirmed where: 1) the relevant provision of the ITR prohibited “any transaction or dealing in or related to” providing “[g]oods, technology or services” to Iran or its government, whether directly or indirectly; and 2) the Supreme Court has not interpreted “willfulness” in criminal statutes to require the government to prove that a defendant was aware of a specific licensing requirement.
U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 07, 2010 Eagle v. Yerington Paiute Tribe, No. 08-16786 In a habeas petition challenging petitioner’s conviction of criminal child abuse in the tribal court for the Yerington Paiute Tribe, the denial of the petition is affirmed where Indian status, although a requirement for tribal jurisdiction, was not an element of the crime charged.
U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 07, 2010 Reynolds v. Thomas, No. 08-35810 In a habeas petition claiming that the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) erred by refusing to issue an order under 18 U.S.C. section 3621(b) that retroactively (nunc pro tunc) designated the Montana state prison where petitioner served his state sentence as the place where he began serving his federal sentence, denial of the petition is affirmed where: 1) the BOP had the authority to decline to make a nunc pro tunc designation of a state prison notwithstanding a state court’s contrary order; and 2) the district court did not clearly err in determining that petitioner was under the primary jurisdiction of the state at the time of his federal conviction.
U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 05, 2010 PJ v. Wagner, No. 08-4197 In a civil rights action brought by a child and parents arising from the child’s life threatening illness against defendants who were involved in a legal dispute in a Utah juvenile court over the child’s custody and medical care (parents refused to obtain chemotherapy treatment for child), summary judgment for defendants is affirmed in part where: 1) a lower federal court would necessarily have to review and reject certain state-court judgments in order for plaintiffs to succeed on their malicious prosecution claims; 2) defendant-prosecutor’s representations in a state court proceeding were intimately associated with the judicial process and her role as an advocate for the state; 3) plaintiffs’ right to direct their son’s medical care in this case — if any right indeed exists in such circumstances — was not clearly established at the time they alleged the right was violated; and 4) plaintiffs failed to show that any defendant imposed an undue burden on their relationship w! ith the child and therefore failed to show a violation of their associational rights. However, the judgment is reversed in part where plaintiffs’ malicious prosecution claims necessarily invite federal-court undoing of two adverse state-court orders, and thus the Rooker-Feldman doctrine bars such claims.
U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 07, 2010 US v. Allen, No. 09-8008 Defendant’s drug conspiracy conviction and sentence are affirmed where: 1) defendant’s appellate brief failed to support her Speedy Trial Act claim with a recognizable legal argument, and failed to explain her position on the facts and posture of the case; 2) in view of the trial judge’s careful instructions to the jury and the fact that a prejudicial photo array only appeared on the first two days of a two-week long trial, any error was harmless; 3) all statements of witnesses were provided, as the Jencks Act required, following their testimony on direct examination at the latest, and statements of a number of witnesses had been provided well before that deadline; and 4) any error in refusing to give an instruction requiring specific unanimity was clearly harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.
U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, May 04, 2010 Penley v. Eslinger, No. 09-13092 In a civil rights action alleging excessive force by police, summary judgment for defendant-officers is affirmed where the decedent’s act of bringing a firearm to school, threatening the lives of others, and refusing to comply with officers’ commands to drop the weapon were undoubtedly serious crimes, and thus the officer who shot the decedent reasonably believed he was in danger.
New York Court of Appeals, May 04, 2010 People v. Johnson, No. 69 Defendant’s robbery conviction and sentence are reversed where the trial court’s modification of certain sentencing terms in defendant’s plea agreement voided his prior waiver of appeal and required the re-allocution of the waiver.
New York Court of Appeals, May 06, 2010 Hurrell-Harring v. N.Y., No. 66 In an action by defendants in various criminal prosecutions ongoing at the time of the action’s commencement in various counties, contending that New York’s statutory arrangement of leaving the task of providing free counsel in criminal matters to local government deprived plaintiffs and other similarly situated indigent persons of constitutionally and statutorily guaranteed representational rights, the appellate division’s order dismissing the action is reversed where 1) the complaint contained allegations that in specific cases counsel simply was not provided at critical stages of the proceedings, thus stating a claim under Gideon; and 2) collateral preconviction claims seeking prospective relief for absolute, core denials of the right to the assistance of counsel could not be understood to be incompatible with Strickland.
New York Court of Appeals, May 06, 2010 People v. Rivera, No. 72 In a robbery prosecution, the appellate division’s order affirming defendant’s conviction is reversed where the trial court violated Criminal Procedure Law section 310.70 when it instructed the jury to render a partial verdict, in which the jury acquitted defendant of four counts and convicted him of one, refused to accept said verdict after it was announced in open court, and then ordered the jury to continue deliberations on all the counts submitted to it.
New York Court of Appeals, May 06, 2010 People v. Zona, No. 73 The appellate division’s reversal of defendant’s conviction is affirmed where there was evidence in the record to support defendant’s good-faith claim of right defense concerning property he removed from a sheriff’s department warehouse, and the trial court failed to instruct the jury on that defense.
Supreme Court of Florida, May 06, 2010 Rodriguez v. State of Florida, No. SC05-859 Petition for habeas relief by a defendant convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to death is denied and circuit court’s denial of postconviction relief affirmed as none of defendant’s nine claims in his petition for habeas relief, individually or collectively, warrant relief.
Supreme Court of Florida, May 06, 2010 Wade v. State of Florida, No. SC08-573 Conviction of defendant for first-degree murder, kidnapping and robbery of two victims, and sentence of death are affirmed as his convictions were supported by sufficient evidence and the death sentences imposed in this case are proportional to other capital cases to which involved multiple murders and similar aggravation and mitigation.
California Appellate Districts, May 05, 2010 People v. Norton , No. A123659 In a prosecution of defendant for felony offense of domestic violence, the court finds defendant is entitled to additional presentence conduct credit under the 2009 amendments to Penal Code section 4019 as such amendments must be given retroactive effect.
California Appellate Districts, May 06, 2010 People v. Pelayo, No. A123042 In a prosecution of defendant for possession of methamphetamine for sale, possession of ecstasy for sale, and evading a police officer, the matter is remanded to the trial court to modify its sentencing order as the 2009 amendments to Penal Code section 4019 which went into effect on January 25, 2010 are retroactive, and defendant is entitled to recalculation of his pre-sentence custody credits.
California Appellate Districts, May 06, 2010 People v. Superior Court, No. B220991 People’s petition for writ of mandate from a trial court’s exclusion of prosecution witnesses and evidence based on a failure to provide discovery, claiming that the trial court exceeded its jurisdiction under Penal Code section 1054.5(c) because it was required to exhaust less drastic sanction first, is granted as trial court’s orders were issued in excess of jurisdiction, and as such, trial court’s sanctions order precluding the People from presenting dog scent and gunshot evidence and the witnesses testimony at issue are vacated.
California Appellate Districts, May 06, 2010 People v. Branch, No. C060225 Trial court’s conviction of defendant of attempted pimping of a minor under the age of 16 and other crimes is affirmed as a good faith belief the minor is 18 is not a defense to pimping or pandering a minor. .
California Appellate Districts, May 06, 2010 Broney v. California Comm’n on Teacher Credentialing, No. C060831 In plaintiff-teacher’s petition for extraordinary relief from the Commission’s decision, finding her unfit to teach and suspending her teaching credentials for 60 days, based on her three drunk driving convictions, trial court’s denial of the petition is affirmed as, although the trial court applied the wrong test, it was not prejudicial as it is not reasonably probable that the court would have reached a different result had it applied the Morrison test to the issue of fitness to teach instead of a per se test. .
California Appellate Districts, May 06, 2010 People v. Traugott, No. E046884 Conviction of defendant for possession of methamphetamine for sale and two related misdemeanor drug crimes is reversed as defendant’s state constitutional right to a unanimous 12-person verdict was violated and thus valid verdicts were not returned.
California Appellate Districts, May 06, 2010 People v. Otubuah, No. E047271 Conviction of defendant for multiple counts of unlawful use of personal identifying information, burglary, grand theft, multiple counts of forgery for possessing completed checks with the intent to defraud, and other crimes, arising from his involvement in an identity theft ring, is reversed in part where: 1) convictions on 24 of the 27 counts of forgery for possessing completed checks with intent to defraud are reversed as the checks were from three issuers and defendant has thus violated the financial autonomy of three victims and committed forgery once for each victim; 2) section 654 does not mandate staying any of the three convictions for forgery; and 3) since possession of the checks violated the autonomy of the three issuers, as the means toward fraud, the three convictions are appropriate. ..