Criminal Law

Daily criminal law and procedure case summaries, brought to you by
  1. (United States Seventh Circuit) - Affirmed. The state court determination that the long questioning and reference to access to her children were not coercion was affirmed, where a woman convicted of first degree homicide of an infant argued that statements made during an interrogation were involuntary and should have been suppressed.
  2. (United States Seventh Circuit) - Affirmed. The conviction of a man involved in defrauding arms manufacturers into selling machinegun and laser sights restricted by law for law enforcement and military use was affirmed.
  3. (United States Ninth Circuit) - Vacated and remanded. The panel held that the district court erred by concluding it could not listen to the defendant’s allocution before determining whether a reduction of acceptance of responsibility was warranted under the Sentencing Guidelines, affecting the defendant’s substantial rights and fairness of the proceedings.
  4. (United States Seventh Circuit) - Affirmed. Defendant, a prior felon, was pulled over for a traffic stop. A drug-sniffing dog alerted on Defendants car. A search of the vehicle did not find drugs but did find a gun. Defendant was charged with felon-in-possession. Defendant was sentenced to 15 years. Defendant appealed on grounds that search was improper and error by trial court. Appellate court found no reversible error.
  5. (United States Seventh Circuit) - Affirmed. Defendant was charged with executing a scheme to defraud local governments by falsely representing that his industrial fans were assembled in the United States. Appeals court found no error in the judgment or the sentence.
  6. (California Court of Appeal) - Writ issued and trial court directed to grant Defendant's motion. Defendant sought to have the complaint against him dismissed for failure to conduct a preliminary examination within 60 days. Trial court denied the motion, but Appeals court held the 60-day rule is absolute and there was no evidence that supported tolling the rule.
  7. (California Court of Appeal) - Reversed. Defendant was judged a mentally disordered offender (MDO) for bipolar disorder. With his bipolar disorder in remission, a re-commitment order was sought for Defendant’s pedophilia. The appeals court held that a re-commitment order must be based on the same mental disorder that was the basis of the original commitment.
  8. (United States DC Circuit) - Vacated and remanded. The district court erred in admitting deposition testimony by a witness who was deported before trial because they failed to make reasonable efforts to procure his presence.
  9. (United States Seventh Circuit) - Affirmed. An unconstitutional conviction did not occur when an attorney confirmed he no longer disputed restitution while in chambers but repeated this withdrawal in open court.
  10. (United States Seventh Circuit) - Partially affirmed, partially vacated. A man was properly convicted on drug charges and was subject to a sentence enhancement for maintaining drug premises, but the court plainly erred in calculating his relevant conduct and the case was remanded for resentencing.
  11. (United States Seventh Circuit) - Affirmed. Probable cause supported the search of a man's home and even if it hadn't the officers could rely on the warrant in good faith. Sentencing was properly calculated.
  12. (United States Second Circuit) - Reversed. Finding the trial court’s exclusion of three defense witnesses violated defendant’s constitutional right to present a complete defense, the panel reverses and remands the judgement of the district court with direction to grant the writ.
  13. (United States Ninth Circuit) - Affirmed in part, reversed in part. Defendant’s conviction for second-degree murder affirmed. However, because second-degree murder can be committed recklessly, it does not categorically constitute a “crime of violence.” Therefore, the conviction of discharging a firearm during a crime of violence is reversed.
  14. (United States Fifth Circuit) - Denied. The fourth federal habeas corpus petition and fifth motion to stay execution of a man convicted as a minor of capital murder were denied because they failed to meet the strict requirements imposed on successive petitions.
  15. (United States Ninth Circuit) - Affirmed. Concluding a witness was unavailable due to invocation of his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, the district court admitted prior civil deposition testimony. The panel affirms, finding any error was harmless because excluding the depositions would not have changed the outcome of the trial.