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Hamdan was arrested after a 2014 traffic stop revealed he was driving on a suspended license. Hamdan consented to a search of his car. Officers found a shoebox containing $67,000 in cash. Police found a card for a Public Storage business inscribed with unit and access code information. Hamdan denied knowledge of the storage unit. Police obtained a search warrant. A key Hamdan was carrying opened the unit. Hamdan's passenger, Yahia, told police that he was employed by Hamdan and alerted officers to a second storage unit, rented in Yahia’s name, but controlled by Hamdan. Another of Hamdan’s keys opened that unit. With Yahia’s consent, police searched that unit and discovered boxes marked with Hamdan’s name and address. In the storage units, officers discovered 20,000 packages of the street drug, “spice,” plus tools and ingredients to make spice, including the synthetic cannabinoid XLR-11. Hamdan was convicted of controlled substance offenses, 21 U.S.C. 841 & 846. Hamdan had planned to argue that he did not know spice was illegal by introducing evidence that he was previously arrested, but not prosecuted for activities related to spice. Hamdan sought to subpoena two Wisconsin state troopers who arrested and interviewed him in 2012. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. Hamdan’s proposed evidence was largely irrelevant to the issues. The synthetic cannabinoid involved in the 2012 arrest was not at issue here. The two incidents were remote in time and Hamdan’s knowledge of XLR-11’s illegality could have changed. The testimony could have caused confusion and prejudice. View "United States v. Hamdan" on Justia Law

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The juvenile court found minor E.P. committed second degree burglary, possessed graffiti tools, received stolen property, and illegally possessed alcohol. E.P. contended the Court of Appeal should have reversed the burglary finding (count 1) because the evidence was insufficient to show he committed burglary rather than the new crime defined by Proposition 47 as shoplifting. He further argued the Court had to reverse the findings he received stolen property (counts 4-6) because he cannot be charged or convicted of both shoplifting and receiving the same property. After review, the Court of Appeal concluded the evidence was insufficient to show that E.P. committed burglary and, therefore, reverse the true finding on the burglary count. Because E.P. was not charged with shoplifting, there was no bar to charging him with receiving stolen property (counts 4-6) and the court’s true findings on those counts. Accordingly, the Court reversed the finding E.P. committed burglary, but affirmed the findings he received stolen property and illegally possessed an alcoholic beverage. View "In re E.P." on Justia Law

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Doe pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. Megan’s Law, Ohio Code section 2950, requires determination of whether a person convicted of a sexually oriented offense is a “sexual predator,” “likely to engage in the future" in "sexually oriented offenses.” Doe’s classification as a sexual predator was affirmed on appeal. Doe is required, for the rest of her life, to register with the sheriff and provide detailed personal information; she must provide written notice of any changes, and verify, in person, the current address of her residence, school, and place of employment every 90 days. Failure to comply is a felony. Doe’s registration information is publicly disseminated through an internet sex-offender database. Doe may not reside within 1000 feet of any school and is barred from living in federally subsidized housing. The law provides that “[i]n no case shall the lifetime duty to comply . . . terminated.” Doe sought a declaration that the statute is unconstitutional in preventing her from obtaining a hearing to demonstrate that she is no longer “likely to reoffend.” The Sixth Circuit upheld the statute, first holding that named state officials did not enjoy Eleventh Amendment immunity and that Doe had standing. Doe’s classification is based on her likelihood of reoffending as of the time of the classification hearing; the restrictions stem not from her current dangerousness, but from that assessment. Due process does not require the opportunity to prove a fact that is not material to the statutory scheme. View "Doe v. DeWine" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court convicting Defendant of one count of second-degree sexual assault for having sexually assaulted a fifteen-year-old neighbor, holding that the trial justice did not commit reversible error. Specifically, the Court held (1) the trial justice did not commit reversible error by sustaining the prosecutor’s objection to defense counsel’s question to the complainant as to whether he had received any professional counseling with respect to the events at issue in this case; (2) Defendant waived his argument that the trial court erred in not striking Defendant’s wife’s response to the prosecutor’s questions about contacting the complainant or his family; and (3) the trial justice did not err in overruling the defense objection to Defendant’s wife’s testimony that she and Defendant lived on the side of an elementary school. View "State v. MacNeil" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court denying Appellant’s application for postconviction relief, holding that Appellant was not entitled to postconviction relief. Appellant was found guilty of murder in the first degree and other offenses and sentenced to life imprisonment. Appellant later filed the instant application for postconviction relief alleging that he was denied effective assistance of trial and appellate counsel. After a hearing, the hearing justice denied the application for postconviction relief. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that there was no ineffective assistance of either Appellant’s trial or appellate counsel, and therefore, the hearing justice properly denied Appellant’s application for postconviction relief. View "Jimenez v. State" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction and sentence for receipt of visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct and possession of child pornography. The court held that the evidence was sufficient to convict defendant of the crimes; the jury instructions and the verdict form did not violate defendant's Sixth Amendment right to a unanimous verdict; defendant's rights under the Double Jeopardy Clause were not violated when the district court instructed the jury on knowing receipt and possession of child pornography based on the same facts where the knowing possession charged was not a lesser included offense of knowing receipt as charged; and the district court did not err by imposing a two-level sentencing enhancement for knowing distribution. View "United States v. Smith" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court convicting Defendant of intentional or knowing murder and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, holding that the court did not err in the way it conducted voir dire and that the admission into evidence of two burglary convictions pursuant to Me. R. Evid. 609 was not an abuse of the court’s discretion. Specifically, the Court held that the trial court (1) did not abuse its discretion by not including in the juror vote dire questionnaire six of Defendant’s proposed juror questions and by not giving the prospective jurors the option of answering any of the questions with “not sure” as an alternative to “yes” or “no”; and (2) did not abuse its discretion by admitting evidence of two prior burglary convictions to impeach Defendant’s trial testimony. View "State v. Burton" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit affirmed Defendant’s conviction of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin and sentence of 120 months’ imprisonment followed by thirty-six months of supervised release, holding that there was no error requiring reversal of the conviction or sentence. Specifically, the Court held (1) the evidence was sufficient to support the conviction; (2) Defendant’s challenges to several of the district court’s evidentiary rulings were unavailing; and (3) on plain error review, Defendant’s three claims of sentencing error did not amount to plain error. View "United States v. Obiora" on Justia Law

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The Court of Appeals held that Defendant’s murder of his thirteen-year-old half-sister in Virginia, an offense for which registration is required under Virginia’s Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry Act, Va. Code Ann. 9.1-902, did not render Defendant a sex offender for purposes of the New York State Sex Offender Registry Act (SORA), N.Y. Correct. Law 168-a(2)(d)(ii). N.Y. Correct. Law 168 provides that a person convicted of a felony in any other jurisdiction for which the offender is required to register as a sex offender must also register under SORA. Defendant shot and killed his half-sister and was required to register with the Virginia Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry. Supreme Court determined that when Defendant moved to New York he was required to register under SORA. The Appellate Division reversed and annulled Defendant’s adjudication as a sex offender, concluding that SORA violates Defendant’s substantive due process and equal protection rights. The Court of Appeals affirmed but on other grounds, holding that if a defendant is required to register for a felony committed in a foreign jurisdiction but is not required to do so “as a sex offender,” SORA does not apply. View "People v. Diaz" on Justia Law

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The DC Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction of conspiracy to distribute, and conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute, 100 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of heroin. The court held that the evidence was sufficient to prove that defendant was responsible for 100 grams or more of heroin where the jury could have concluded that when a local drug dealer said he gave defendant 100 grams, the dealer in fact gave defendant 100 grams. The court need not resolve defendant's challenges to the district court's alternative rationales. View "United States v. Durrette" on Justia Law