Posts Tagged ‘Criminal Lawyer New Orleans’

Supreme Court Rejects Application of Chemical Weapons Law to “Local” Crimes

Posted by admin on October 13th, 2014

The Supreme Court decided Bond v. United States (No. 12-158), addressing the use of a law implementing a chemical weapons treaty to prosecute a woman for attempting to poison her husband’s lover.  The Court unanimously held that the federal prosecution was improper in this case.  According to the majority opinion, written by Chief Justice Roberts, the statute could not be read to reach Bond’s conduct.  “We conclude that, in this curious case, we can insist on a clear indication that Congress meant to reach purely local crimes, before interpreting the statute’s expansive language in a way that intrudes on the police power of the States.”  In their concurring opinion, Justices Scalia, Thomas and Alito declared that the law’s application to Bond in this case was unconstitutional.

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Supreme Court Issues Opinion on Straw Purchasers; Grants Cert on Threats Under 18 U.S.C. § 875(c)

Posted by admin on October 13th, 2014

  • the Supreme Court decided Abramski v. United States (No.12-1493) and granted certiorari in Elonis v. United States (No. 13-983).
  • In Abramski, the Court held that a straw purchaser can be convicted under 18 U. S. C. §922(a)(6) for making false statements about “any fact material to the lawfulness of the sale” of a firearm, regardless of whether or not the true buyer could have purchased the gun without the straw.
  • In Elonis, the questions presented are:
  • (1) Whether, consistent with the First Amendment and Virginia v. Black, conviction of threatening another person under 18 U.S.C. § 875(c) requires proof of the defendant’s subjective intent to threaten, as required by the Ninth Circuit and the supreme courts of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont; or whether it is enough to show that a “reasonable person” would regard the statement as threatening, as held by other federal courts of appeals and state courts of last resort; and (2) whether, as a matter of statutory interpretation, conviction of threatening another person under 18 U. S. C. § 875(c) requires proof of the defendant’s subjective intent to threaten.

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Supreme Court Rules on Intent Required for Bank Fraud Conviction; Grants Cert on Forced Accompaniment in Bank Robbery Offenses

Posted by admin on October 13th, 2014

  • Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued an opinion in Loughrin v. United States (No. 13-316), interpreting the provision of the federal bank fraud statute, 18 U.S. C. §1344(2), that prohibits a knowing scheme to obtain property owned by, or in the custody of, a bank “by means of false of fraudulent pretense, representations, or promises.”  The Court unanimously held that this provision does not require proof of specific intent to deceive a bank. Petitioner could therefore be convicted under the statute for passing altered checks to obtain merchandise and cash from retailers.
  • The Court also granted certiorari in Whitfield v. United States (No. 13-9026) to decide whether 18 U.S.C. § 2113(e), which provides a minimum sentence of ten years in prison and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for a bank robber who forces another person “to accompany him” during the robbery or while in flight, requires proof of more than a de minimis movement of the victim.

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Supreme Court Holds That a Warrant Is Required for Cell Phone Searches

Posted by admin on October 13th, 2014

  • The Supreme Court issued a unanimous, consolidated opinion in Riley v. California and United States v. Wurie (Nos. 13-132, 13-212), declining to extend the search incident to arrest exception in United States v. Robinson, 414 U.S. 218 (1973) “to searches of data on cell phones, and hold[ing] instead that officers must generally secure a warrant before conducting such a search.”

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Supreme Court to Rule on Drug Paraphernalia Conviction as a Deportable Offense

Posted by admin on October 13th, 2014

  • The Court granted cert in Mellouli v. Holder (No. 13-1034) to decide the following question:  Whether, to trigger deportability under 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(B)(i), which provides that a noncitizen may be removed if he has been convicted of violating “any law or regulation of a State, the United States, or a foreign country relating to a controlled substance (as defined in section 802 of Title 21) . . . ,” the government must prove the connection between a drug paraphernalia conviction and a substance listed in section 802 of the Controlled Substances Act.

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Sentencing Commission Votes to Retroactively Apply Its Amendment to the Drug Guidelines

Posted by admin on October 13th, 2014

  • The Sentencing Commission voted to retroactively apply its guideline amendment reducing the offense levels in the drug quantity table by two levels. The Commission’s decision includes a requirement that reduced sentences cannot take effect until November 1, 2015.  Read the full text of the retroactivity amendment in this Reader-Friendly Version.  For more on the Commission’s decision, see this press release.

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Attorney General Holder Issues Memo on § 851 Enhancements in Plea Negotiations

Posted by admin on October 13th, 2014

  • In a memo dated September 24, 2014 - Guidance Regarding § 851 Enhancements in Plea Negotiations – Attorney General Eric Holder directed all federal prosecutors that such enhancements “should not be used in plea negotiations for the sole or predominant purpose of inducing a defendant to plead guilty.”  Also, at least one news report indicates that Holder may issue additional memos, including one announcing that federal prosecutors will no longer request that defendants waive their right to appeal for ineffective assistance of counsel when pleading guilty: “Government Rethinks Waivers With Guilty Pleas” (Wall Street Journal, September 26, 2014).

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Supreme Court granted cert in two criminal cases, Rodriguez v. United States (No. 13-9972) and Ohio v. Clark (No. 13-1352).

Posted by admin on October 13th, 2014

  • In Rodriguez, the question presented, as stated in the petition, is:
  • This Court has held that, during an otherwise lawful traffic stop, asking a driver to exit a
  • vehicle, conducting a drug sniff with a trained canine, or asking a few off-topic questions are “de minimis” intrusions on personal liberty that do not require reasonable suspicion of
  • criminal activity in order to comport with the Fourth Amendment. This case poses the
  • question of whether the same rule applies after the conclusion of the traffic stop, so that an
  • officer may extend the already-completed stop for a canine sniff without reasonable suspicion or other lawful justification.
  • In Clark, the Court will address  (1) Whether an individual’s obligation to report suspected child abuse makes that individual an agent of law enforcement for purposes of the Confrontation Clause; and (2) whether a child’s out-of-court statements to a teacher in response to the teacher’s concerns about potential child abuse qualify as “testimonial” statements subject to the Confrontation Clause.

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