Although racial bias is prohibited in the jury selection process, many criminal defendants still find themselves having to challenge the government’s reasons for excluding potential jurors that are of the same race as the defendant. The jury selection process can be one of the most influential aspects of a criminal trial on the outcome, which…Continue Reading Examining Racial Bias in Jury Selection
Scientific evidence can be very persuasive to a jury and has the potential to seriously sway the outcome of a trial. This is why the Supreme Court put standards in place for how a district court must evaluate whether expert testimony and scientific evidence can be admitted at trial. The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals…Continue Reading The Daubert Standard and Admitting Expert Witness Testimony
A defendant on trial in a criminal proceeding is entitled to an attorney for his defense. In the event that a defendant cannot afford an attorney, the court will appoint one. This tenet of U.S. criminal law is widely known and has been a basic principle of criminal procedure since the country was founded. The…Continue Reading Does Right to Counsel Begin Before Indictment?
Employees of corporations have varying levels of access to the corporation’s information that the business may consider confidential. One significant source of criminal prosecutions is the use of confidential information by employees for their own personal gain and to the detriment of the company. When does benefiting from confidential business information cross the legal line?…Continue Reading Wire Fraud and Stealing Confidential Business Information
In United States v. French, the First Circuit Court of Appeals addressed an interesting development in a case involving two defendants charged with owning and running a marijuana farming operation on about 80,000 acres of land in Maine. Both defendants were convicted of the drug-related charges but later found out that one of the jurors on…Continue Reading Juror Misconduct After a Conviction: Potential for New Trial?
18 USC 2251 (d)(1) makes it federal crime for anyone to post a “notice or advertisement seeking or offering— (A) to receive, exchange, buy, produce, display, distribute, or reproduce, any visual depiction, if the production of such visual depiction involves the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct and such visual depiction is…Continue Reading Posting Not Necessarily "Advertisement" Under 18 USC 2251
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has upheld a federal judge’s decision to grant a motion to suppress evidence obtained during an illegal search. Straughn Gorman was stopped by a Nevada state trooper for an alleged “left lane violation” while driving a motorhome. The trooper was suspicious that Gorman was carrying bulk…Continue Reading Motion To Suppress Evidence - Illegal Search
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has reversed a defendant’s conviction for attempted sex trafficking after finding constructive amendment to indictment had occurred during trial. Ricky Davis was charged with attempted sex trafficking, a violation of 18 U.S.C. 1591(a). The indictment alleged that Davis “… knowingly attempted to recruit, entice, harbor, transport,…Continue Reading Constructive Amendment To Indictment Requires Reversal Of Attempted Sex Trafficking Conviction
At Martin Bradley III’s trial for racketeering, mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering, the district court had two ex parte communications with the jury. Bradley’s defense lawyers did not become aware of notes until after his appeal. Bradley filed a 2255 motion arguing, in addition to other things, that the court had violated Rule…Continue Reading Ex Parte Communications By Judge With Jury Required Reversal Of Convictions