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Steven Ford was sentenced to twenty years’ imprisonment for various firearms-possession charges, followed by three years of supervised release. Because of a sex-offense conviction nineteen years earlier, the district court placed sex-offense-specific conditions on Ford’s term of supervised release. Specifically, the court required Ford to undergo a sex-offender assessment, and if recommended by the assessment, to submit to treatment which could include polygraph questioning about his sexual past. Ford contended on appeal that the district court abused its discretion because the sex-offender conditions are not reasonably related to the sentencing factors in 18 U.S.C. 3583. After review, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals held that, notwithstanding Ford’s long custodial sentence and new life sentence for a different crime, Ford’s challenge was ripe for review. Furthermore, the Court determined the district court did not abuse its discretion by requiring Ford to undergo a sex-offender risk assessment as a condition of supervised release. View "United States v. Ford" on Justia Law

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Steven Ford was sentenced to twenty years’ imprisonment for various firearms-possession charges, followed by three years of supervised release. Because of a sex-offense conviction nineteen years earlier, the district court placed sex-offense-specific conditions on Ford’s term of supervised release. Specifically, the court required Ford to undergo a sex-offender assessment, and if recommended by the assessment, to submit to treatment which could include polygraph questioning about his sexual past. Ford contended on appeal that the district court abused its discretion because the sex-offender conditions are not reasonably related to the sentencing factors in 18 U.S.C. 3583. After review, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals held that, notwithstanding Ford’s long custodial sentence and new life sentence for a different crime, Ford’s challenge was ripe for review. Furthermore, the Court determined the district court did not abuse its discretion by requiring Ford to undergo a sex-offender risk assessment as a condition of supervised release. View "United States v. Ford" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction for failing to register as a sex offender, in violation of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), 18 U.S.C. 2250(a). The court held that a SORNA offense begins under 3237(a) in the district that the defendant leaves, not in the district where the defendant's interstate travel ends and in which the defendant ultimately fails to register. In this case, venue was proper in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) because defendant's interstate journey began in the SDNY. The court also held that SORNA was not void for vagueness and SORNA did not violate defendant's constitutional right to travel. View "United States v. Holcombe" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction for failing to register as a sex offender, in violation of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), 18 U.S.C. 2250(a). The court held that a SORNA offense begins under 3237(a) in the district that the defendant leaves, not in the district where the defendant's interstate travel ends and in which the defendant ultimately fails to register. In this case, venue was proper in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) because defendant's interstate journey began in the SDNY. The court also held that SORNA was not void for vagueness and SORNA did not violate defendant's constitutional right to travel. View "United States v. Holcombe" on Justia Law

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The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of habeas relief to petitioner after he was convicted of the capital murder of James Byrd and sentenced to death. Byrd's dismembered body was found by Jasper police officers in front of a church where it had been dragged by a truck. The court held that petitioner's ineffective assistance of trial counsel (IATC) claim lacked merit, even when reviewed de novo with petitioner's new evidence and ignoring the procedural bar. In this case counsel acted reasonably in handling the DNA evidence, the size 10 sandal evidence, the note to a coconspirator, and the State's evidence of petitioner's racial motive. The court rejected petitioner's remaining IATC claims and held that counsel maximized petitioner's chances of acquittal. Furthermore, even if counsel's performance was unreasonable, petitioner failed to establish prejudice under Strickland v. Washington. View "King v. Davis" on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction and sentence for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. The court held that defendant failed to show error in the district court's supplemental jury instruction or in declining to give defendant's requested instruction where the district court's response to the jury's question about possession of a firearm was a correct statement of the law and served to clarify the issue before the jury. The court also held that defendant's prior Florida convictions for attempted strong arm robbery and resisting an officer with violence were violent felonies under the Armed Career Criminal Act. View "United States v. Joyner" on Justia Law

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Laura Rende appealed after a jury found her guilty of simple assault on a peace officer and driving under the influence. The district court did not instruct the jury to make a finding whether Rende knew the arresting officer was acting in his official capacity at the time of her arrest. A district court's use of jury instructions that fail to include every element of the offense is error. However, that error is waived if defendant invited the error by submitting proposed instructions that also failed to include every element of the offense and if the defendant failed to object to the instructions at trial. "It is a cardinal rule of appellate review that a party may not challenge as error a ruling or other trial proceeding invited by that party. A party may not take advantage of irregularities in the proceedings unless he objects at the time they occur, allowing the district court to take appropriate action." After review, the North Dakota Supreme Court affirmed, because Rende invited the error. View "North Dakota v. Rende" on Justia Law

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Nathan Rolfson appealed after a jury verdict finding him guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Rolfson argued the district court erred in admitting into evidence three foundation documents for the Intoxilyzer test result because the State failed to disclose the documents in response to his discovery request. The North Dakota Supreme Court affirmed, concluding, that although the State violated the discovery rule, Rolfson failed to show significant prejudice resulted from the State's failure to disclose the three challenged documents before trial, and therefore, the court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to exclude the exhibits from evidence. View "North Dakota v. Rolfson" on Justia Law

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John Isom appeals from a criminal judgment entered after a jury found him guilty of aggravated assault--domestic violence. Isom argues the district court imposed an illegal sentence, abused its discretion in substituting a juror after empanelment, and erred in denying his motion for judgment of acquittal. Specifically, Isom argued the district court imposed an illegal sentence of five years supervised probation when N.D.C.C. 12.1-32-06.1(2) provided a maximum of three years for aggravated assault--domestic violence. Furthermore, Isom argued the district court abused its discretion and committed reversible error under N.D.R.Crim.P. 24 substituting a juror after jeopardy attached. The North Dakota Supreme Court agreed with Isom that the sentence he received was not in accordance with N.D.C.C. 12.1-32-06.1(2). The Court disagreed with Isom’s contention with respect to the juror substitution. The Court therefore affirmed in part and reversed in part and remanded for resentencing. View "North Dakota v. Isom" on Justia Law

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John Isom appeals from a criminal judgment entered after a jury found him guilty of aggravated assault--domestic violence. Isom argues the district court imposed an illegal sentence, abused its discretion in substituting a juror after empanelment, and erred in denying his motion for judgment of acquittal. Specifically, Isom argued the district court imposed an illegal sentence of five years supervised probation when N.D.C.C. 12.1-32-06.1(2) provided a maximum of three years for aggravated assault--domestic violence. Furthermore, Isom argued the district court abused its discretion and committed reversible error under N.D.R.Crim.P. 24 substituting a juror after jeopardy attached. The North Dakota Supreme Court agreed with Isom that the sentence he received was not in accordance with N.D.C.C. 12.1-32-06.1(2). The Court disagreed with Isom’s contention with respect to the juror substitution. The Court therefore affirmed in part and reversed in part and remanded for resentencing. View "North Dakota v. Isom" on Justia Law