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The Fifth Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction and sentence for conspiracy and several counts of mail fraud. The court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying defendant's motion for a new trial and request for an evidentiary hearing; the admittance of a special agent's testimony regarding the admissions of a codefendant did not violate defendant's Confrontation Clause rights; the district court did not misapply the Sentencing Guidelines in enhancing defendant's offense level; and there was no abuse of discretion in the district court's restitution and forfeiture orders. View "United States v. Dickerson" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit amended a previous opinion and voted to deny the petition for panel rehearing. The panel denied the petition for review of the BIA's denial of petitioner's application for cancellation of removal on the ground that she was convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude. The panel held that bribery under 18 U.S.C. 666(a)(2) is categorically a crime involving moral turpitude because it requires proof of a corrupt mind. The panel applied Jordan v. De George, 341 U.S. 223 (1951), and Tseung Chu v. Cornell, 247 F.2d 929 (9th Cir. 1957), and held that the crime involving moral turpitude statute, 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(2)(A)(i)(I), is not unconstitutionally vague. The panel also held that Jordan and Tseung Chu remain good law in light of the Supreme Court's decisions in Johnson v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 2551 (2015), and Sessions v. Dimaya, 138 S. Ct. 1204 (2018). View "Martinez-de Ryan v. Whitaker" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed defendant's resentence on both an Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) conviction and his drug trafficking conviction. The court held that, although the district court committed procedural err by using the 2013 Sentencing Guidelines on resentencing, the error was harmless. In this case, the district court repeatedly stated the sentence would be the same whether he sentenced on the vacated count or both counts. View "United States v. Kemp" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction and sentence for second degree murder and related charges. The court held that the evidence was sufficient to support the second degree murder count; the district court did not err by instructing the jury on the elements of second degree murder; the government did not improperly vouch for the credibility of witnesses; although the admission of testimony concerning a sexual encounter that took place in the hours leading up to the murder was prejudicial, the error did not warrant reversal; and the district court did not err in calculating the criminal history points at sentencing. View "United States v. Cottier" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the judgment of the district court ordering Defendant to pay $10,800 in restitution to a couple with whom Defendant and her daughter had been living at the time Defendant committed the crimes for which she was convicted, holding that Defendant should have been giving a hearing on the restitution issue. Defendant pled nolo contendere to two counts of interfering with law enforcement by falsely reporting a crime. After the district court sentenced Defendant, Defendant appealed the restitution order, arguing that the district court erred by declining to conduct a restitution hearing at which Defendant was present and by ordering a restitution plan that was unworkable. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court vacated the restitution order and remanded for the district court to conduct a restitution hearing, holding that the district court’s summary holding that the appropriate amount of restitution would necessarily exceed Defendant’s ability to pay was apparently based on an incorrect legal hearing. View "State v. Martin" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court denying Appellant’s second motion for postconvcition relief, holding that Appellant’s second motion was barred by the limitation period set forth in Neb. Rev. Stat. 29-3001(4). Appellant was convicted of second degree murder and use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony. After unsuccessfully seeking relief in his first postconviction motion, Appellant filed a second motion for postconviction relief setting forth three grounds for relief. The district court denied Appellant’s request for an evidentiary hearing and sustained the State’s motion to dismiss. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellant’s second motion for postconviction relief was barred by the time limitation of section 29-3001(4). View "State v. Edwards" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s denial of Appellant’s motion for postconviction relief without an evidentiary hearing, holding that Appellant’s postconviction motion failed to state a claim for relief. Appellant was convicted of first degree murder and use of a firearm to commit a felony in the shooting of a police officer. Appellant later filed an amended motion for postconviction relief, alleging that he was denied the right to a fair trial, ineffective assistance of trial and appellate counsel, prosecutorial misconduct, and newly discovered evidence. The district court denied the motion, finding that Appellant was not entitled to an evidentiary hearing. The Supreme Court affirmed the denial of postconviction relief as to all of Appellant’s assignments of error, holding that Appellant’s claims were without merit. View "State v. Allen" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed a $1900 fine-based restitution award ordered by the district court after Defendant pleaded guilty to theft of a student backpack as punitive and unsupported by substantial evidence, holding that the scope-of-liability analysis in sections 29 and 33 of the Restatement (Third) of Torts: Liability for Physical and Emotional Harm applies in criminal restitution determinations. The operator of a training course for commercial truck driver imposed a $1900 fine on its student for the loss of a study guide. Defendant stole a backpack from the student’s parked car that contained the study guide. The student did not pay the fine. The district court concluded that $1900 far exceeded the actual cost to print the guide but ordered Defendant to pay that amount in restitution to the victim. The Supreme Court reversed after adopting the scope-of-liability analysis in the Restatement (Third) of Torts for criminal restitution cases, holding that the district court erred by awarding the amount of $1900 without substantial evidentiary support. View "State v. Roache" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the district court denying Appellant’s application for postconviction relief (PCR), holding that Appellant’s requested remand for a new hearing was not available and that Appellant’s claim that his postconviction counsel was ineffective must be brought in a separate application for PCR. In his application for PCR Appellant sought to vacate his conviction based on newly discovered evidence. The district court denied the PCR application and rejected Appellant’s ineffective assistance of counsel claim. On appeal, Appellant argued that the district court improperly dismissed his PCR application because his postconviction counsel failed to present physical evidence at the PCR hearing to support his claim. Therefore, Appellant asked that his PCR application be remanded to the district court for a new hearing. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that no error occurred, that the request made to remand the case failed, and that Appellant must raise his claim of ineffective assistance of postconviction counsel in a separate application for PCR. View "Goode v. State" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court denying Defendant’s motion to suppress and convicting Defendant of burglary and possession of burglarious tools, holding that a search warrant issued for the placement and use of a Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking evidence on a motor vehicle, but not executed within five days after the date of issuance under Wis. Stat. 968.15 or timely returned under Wis. Stat. 968.17(1), is not void if the search was otherwise reasonably conducted. At issue on appeal was whether the warrant in this case was governed by Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 968 and whether the warrant complied with the Fourth Amendment to the United State Constitution and Article I, Section 11 of the Wisconsin Constitution’s guarantees against unreasonable searches. The Court held (1) the GPS warrant in this case was not subject to the statutory limitations and requirements of Chapter 968; and (2) the GPS warrant complied with Fourth Amendment principles. View "State v. Pinder" on Justia Law