Search and Seizure: Subsequent Frisk After Terry Pat Down Violates 4th Amendment

United States v. Andre Williams,   No. 12-3864.   On the night of March 21, 2012, City of Fitchburg police officers responded to an anonymous 911 call reporting a group of twenty-five individuals acting loudly and displaying hand guns in a parking lot. Upon arriving at the scene, the officers observed something different: a smaller group of individuals, none of whom appeared to be acting inappropriately. The officers approached this group, which had begun to disperse slowly. For no apparent reason, one of …
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Missing Witness Instruction: Only Allowed Where Defendant Deprived of Favorable Testimony

USA v. Michael Wright     No. 12-3425     Michael Wright was convicted of cocaine distribution and sentenced to 150 months’ imprisonment. At trial, the informant did not testify, but the government presented evidence of conversations in which Wright, in response to the informant’s inquiries, admitted to stocking up drugs for sale. On appeal,  Wright argues that the district court should have told the jury that it could draw an adverse inference against the government because it did not call the informant to the …
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BOP Enacts New Compassionate Release Reduction in Sentence Guidelines

Compassionate Release/Reduction in Sentence (“RIS”): Procedures for Implementation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 3582(c)(1)(A) and 4205(g) A motion for a modification of a sentence will be made to the sentencing court only in particularly extraordinary or compelling circumstances that could not reasonably have been foreseen by the court at the time of sentencing. REQUESTS BASED ON MEDICAL CIRCUMSTANCES a. Terminal Medical Condition. RIS consideration may be given to inmates who have been diagnosed with a terminal, incurable disease and whose life …
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USSG 3C1.1 OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE ENHANCEMENT: Requires False Testimony, Materiality and Willful Intent By Defendant

USA v. Ruby Parker, No. 12-1991. Ruby Parker, a former teller at LaSalle Bank, N.A., in Chicago, Illinois, was charged with and convicted of three counts of bank fraud, 18 U.S.C. § 1344, and one count of embezzlement by a bank employee, 18 U.S.C. § 656. She was sentenced to 30 months’ imprisonment. Parker now appeals her conviction and sentence.  She argues that the court erred in applying a sentencing enhancement for obstruction of justice. We affirm the convictions but …
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FRE 901: Boilerplate Foundational Requirements for Tape Recordings.

USA v. Ron Collins,  No.  11-3098  .    Ron "Ron Ron" Collins participated in a drug-distribution conspiracy stretching from Mexico to Milwaukee that involved mass amounts of cocaine. For his role, Collins was found guilty of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 846, and sentenced to a prison term of 360 months. Collins challenges both his conviction and the sentence imposed. He contends that the district …
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FRE 404(b): Hamilton Dissent Explains Proper District Court FRE 404(b) Analysis

United States v. Nicolas Gomez,  No. 12-1104.    Editor's Note.  Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney represented Mr. Gomez at trial and on appeal.  Mr. Gomez's case is currently pending a Petition for Rehearing En Banc in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.  mjpetro      A jury found Nicolas Gomez guilty of four drug-related crimes following a five-day jury trial. Mr. Gomez was sentenced to four concurrent 84-month terms. Mr. Gomez contends that the district court erred in admitting evidence of his possession of cocaine a few weeks after the …
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FRCP 32: U. S. Probation Officer’s Confidential Recommendation to the District Court Passes Constitutional Scrutiny

United States v. Ollie Peterson, No. 12-2484. Defendant Ollie Peterson pled guilty to one count of bank robbery in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a) after robbing a bank to pay off a debt with a drug dealer. During Peterson’s sentencing hearing, the district court read from a portion of the probation officer’s confidential sentencing recommendation, which she had submitted only to the court. At the conclusion of the hearing, the district court sentenced Peterson to 168 months in prison, …
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4th Amendment Terry Stop and Frisk Explained. Boilerplate Analysis

USA v. Raphael W. Patton,  No,. 11-2659.       After a Ruger nine-millimeter pistol was discovered in the waistband of his pants in the course of a stop and frisk, Robert W. Patton was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. See 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). Patton moved to suppress evidence relating to the gun, contending that the officer who frisked him lacked a reasonable suspicion that he might be armed. See Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 27, 30-31, 88 S. Ct. 1868, 1883, …
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Judge Posner Weighs In on the Costs and Benefits of Long Prison Sentences

USA v. David Michael Craig, No. 12-1262.        PER CURIAM The defendant pleaded guilty to four counts of producing child pornography. 18 U.S.C. § 2251(a).    Because his total offense level was 43, his guidelines sentence for each count was life. U.S.S.G. ch. 5, pt. A (Sentencing Table). But the judge could not impose that sentence because the statutory maximum sentence for each count of conviction was 30 years. 18 U.S.C. § 2251(e). The judge sentenced him to the 30-year maximum on …
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FRCP 8 and 14 Joinder of Offenses: Bolierplate Rules

US v. Jeffery Carter et al, No. 11-3608. KANNE, Circuit Judge. As Darrick and Geraldine Anderson were returning home from a birthday party, two men—Jeffery Carter and Kentrell Willis—appeared and robbed the couple at gunpoint. Carter and Willis made off with the couple’s vehicle and their belongings, but, unbeknownst to them, one of the cell phones taken from the Andersons was enabled with a GPS tracking feature. As a result, police were easily able to monitor their movements and track …
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