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Petitioner sought a writ of mandate, contending that the Appellate Division erred in requiring criminal restitution in a manner intended to apply to civil actions, and by ordering restitution of attorney fees in an amount not proven by substantial evidence. The Court of Appeal granted the mandate petition in part and denied in part, holding that the civil disgorgement statute relied on by the Appellate Division did not control the amount of restitution in a criminal action. However, the Appellate Division did not err in ordering restitution of petitioner's attorney fees. View "Walker v. Appellate Division of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County" on Justia Law

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Around 8:30 p.m., Milwaukee officers responded to a complaint by a store employee that a Mercury Grand Marquis drove around the store’s parking lot five times. Officer Newport believed this was consistent with preparation for a robbery. He knew that this store had been robbed recently, with firearms. The store closed at 9 p.m. and would soon be empty. Newport observed a Mercury Marquis about 30 feet from the store's entrance, parked next to a Chevrolet Malibu, driven by Green. Newport claims, and Green disputes, that Lindsey, the Marquis driver, stood next to the Malibu's front passenger door, leaned inside, and stood back up. Newport suspected that Lindsey had concealed a weapon. The officers told the men to put up their hands and directed Green to exit the vehicle. Newport claims, and Green disputes, that Green exited with his right arm kept tight to his body while his left swung freely and that after asking Green to raise his arms, Green raised only his left arm. Newport grabbed Green’s wrist but Green resisted. Newport proceeded to pat him down and discovered a handgun in Green’s waistband. Green sued under 42 U.S.C. 1983 and 1988. The court ruled that the investigatory stop violated a clearly established constitutional right, and denied qualified immunity. The Seventh Circuit reversed. Newport had a plausible reason to suspect that Green was armed and dangerous. View "Green v. Newport" on Justia Law

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The First Circuit affirmed Defendant’s conviction of being a felon in possession of a firearm. On appeal, Defendant argued that the district court erred in denying his motion to suppress because there was not reasonable suspicion for the stop-and-frisk that resulted in the discovery of the firearm and that the district court erred by allowing him to direct his attorney not to pursue certain factual lines of defense at trial. The First Circuit disagreed, holding (1) there was reasonable suspicion sufficient to justify the stop and frisk, and therefore, Defendant’s motion to suppress was properly denied; and (2) there was no reversible error in the district court’s decision to allow Defendant to make certain choices in the conduct of his defense. View "United States v. Belin" on Justia Law

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Defendant was convicted, after a jury trial, of visa fraud, possession of firearms by a non-immigrant alien, bank fraud, and making materially false statements to a government agency. While he was being held in pretrial detention, Defendant continued to conduct his criminal enterprise over a prison telephone, using a language seldom heard in the United States. Before trial, the government sought to use translations of the recorded prison telephone calls. The trial court denied Defendant’s motion to exclude the translations, and, during trial, the government entered four transcripts into evidence. Defendant appealed, arguing that the introduction of the transcripts unfairly prejudiced him and that his trial counsel was ineffective. The First Circuit affirmed Defendant’s conviction and sentence, holding (1) Defendant failed to show that the admission of the transcripts prejudiced him; and (2) Defendant’s claims of ineffective assistance of counsel must be brought in collateral post-conviction proceedings. View "United States v. Kifwa" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the sentences imposed upon Defendant after the circuit court convicted him of thirteen counts stemming from the sexual abuse of his two step-daughters and his biological daughter. At sentencing, the State requested that the circuit court find Defendant to be a predatory sexual offender. The circuit court found Defendant was be a predatory sexual offender and sentenced him to eight concurrent terms of life imprisonment with the possibility of parole for each of his five first-degree statutory sodomy convictions and three first-degree statutory rape convictions. Defendant appealed his sentences, arguing that the circuit court improperly sentenced him as a predatory sexual offender. The Supreme Court held (1) because the circuit court did not find Defendant to be a predatory sexual offender until his sentencing, after the case had been submitted to the jury, the court failed to comply with the timing requirement of Mo. Rev. Stat. 558.021.2; but (2) the circuit court’s timing error did not result in manifest injustice or a miscarriage of justice. View "State v. Johnson" on Justia Law

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The "term of imprisonment," as used in 18 U.S.C. 3582(c)(2) and U.S.S.G. 1B1.10(b)(2)(A), can include time spent in state custody. If the district court at the original sentencing gave credit for time spent in state custody in determining the defendant's sentence, the "term of imprisonment" on the motion for sentence reduction can include the time spent in both federal and state custody. Defendant filed a motion seeking a sentence reduction under 18 U.S.C. 3582(c)(2) for possession of heroin with intent to distribute, based on retroactive Sentencing Guidelines Amendment 782. The Ninth Circuit held that the district court had the discretion to give defendant credit for the four months he served in state custody, thereby reducing his sentence to 66 months in federal custody and resulting in a total "term of imprisonment" of 70 months. Accordingly, the panel vacated the sentence and remanded. View "United States v. Brito" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit filed an amended opinion vacating the restitution order, denied defendant's petition for panel rehearing, and on behalf of the court denied his petition for rehearing en banc. The panel held that the government's decision not to appeal the district court's evidentiary hearing did not bar the panel's review of its appeal from the district court's restitution order under 18 U.S.C. 3742(b)(1). Therefore, in this case, the government was not foreclosed from challenging the district court's limitation on the restitution order and the panel had jurisdiction to review the order. The panel held that, under 18 U.S.C. 3663A and Ninth Circuit precedent, the district court could properly order restitution for all victims harmed by defendant's scheme, including those harmed by conduct beyond the count of conviction. The panel remanded for the district court to make factual findings to determine whether defendant's activities beyond the BBBS event were sufficiently related to be included for restitution purposes in his overall scheme to defraud. View "United States v. Johnson" on Justia Law

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In 1991, Bruce and others went Vine’s mussel shell camp, tied up Vine and his fiance, shot them, set the house ablaze and completed a robbery. Federal authorities became involved, leading to Bruce’s 1996 convictions for witness tampering murder. In 2011, the Supreme Court decided “Fowler,” interpreting the statute under which Bruce was convicted, making it a crime “to kill another person, with intent to . . . prevent the communication by any person to a law enforcement officer . . . of the United States . . . of information relating to the . . . possible commission of a Federal offense,” 18 U.S.C. 1512(a)(1)(C). Fowler addressed situations where the defendant killed with the intent to prevent communication with officers in general but did not have federal officers in mind at the time. Ordinarily, federal prisoners collaterally challenge their convictions or sentences under 28 U.S.C. 2255. Bruce never pursued his statutory interpretation argument on direct appeal or in his initial section 2255 motion. Section 2255(h) does not permit a second petition for previously unavailable rules of statutory interpretation, but a savings clause allows a federal prisoner to seek habeas relief under 28 U.S.C. 2241 when 2255’s remedy “is inadequate or ineffective.” The Third Circuit concluded that the district court properly exercised jurisdiction under section 2241, but that this is not the extraordinary case in which a successful showing of actual innocence has been made View "Bruce v. Warden Lewisburg USP" on Justia Law

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Defendant appealed his conviction, entered after a jury trial, of operating under the influence. Defendant was stopped by a Winslow police officer after he drove his car over a sidewalk median in Waterville. Defendant argued that the motion court erred in denying his motion to suppress the evidence obtained from the Winslow officer’s extraterritorial stop of his vehicle because the officer exceeded the authority granted to him by Me. Rev. Stat. 30-A, 2671 and Winslow, Me., Code 2-44. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding that, under the circumstances, the motion court did not err in denying Defendant’s motion to suppress because the Winslow officer’s action of pursuing Defendant’s vehicle was reasonable, as was his initial contact with Defendant, and the officer did not intentionally make an excursion into Waterville to ferret out crime. View "State v. Turner" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court convicting Defendant of operating under the influence. On appeal, Defendant argued that the court abused its discretion by excluding Defendant’s proposed expert testimony as to her peak blood alcohol concentration at the time she was driving. The Supreme Judicial Court disagreed, holding that the court did not err in excluding the expert testimony because Defendant’s offer of proof did not include a proffer of evidence that would demonstrate how her theoretical blood alcohol content would have affected her mental or physical faculties and because Me. Rev. Stat. 29-A, 2432(1) is inapplicable. View "State v. Souther" on Justia Law