Archive | evidence

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

Engelmayer (SDNY) Finds Juvenile Should Not be Prosecuted as an Adult

No Second Circuit decisions today.

But yesterday there was a decision out of the SDNY on the issue of whether a juvenile should be transferred for prosecution as an adult.

Judge Paul Engelmayer decided that a juvenile who was almost 18 years old at the time he was indicted for committing a number of violent offenses should not be prosecuted as an adult. The decision, United States v. C.F., Male Juvenile (15 Cr 445), can be found here. In it, Engelmayer gives a thorough break-down of the six factors that courts consider in the balancing test laid out under The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), 18 U.S.C. §§ 5031-504.

Under JJDPA, the court must find that the transfer of a juvenile to adult status is in the “interest of justice.” This “interest of justice” standard is determined by balancing six factors : 1.) “the age and social …


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Categories: evidence, juvenile facility, Y.O.

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Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

In Summary Order, Second Circuit rejects claims that bank records and tax returns erroneously were admitted into evidence, that the government improperly interfered with defense access to witnesses, and that the government made improper statements during summation.

United States v. Tavarez, No. 15-1395 (2d Cir. Apr. 27, 2016) (Katzmann, Cabranes, and Kaplan).

Tavarez was convicted after a jury trial of one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine. He argued on appeal that: (1) the district court abused its discretion by admitting Tavarez’s bank records and tax returns into evidence; (2) the government impaired his right to a fair trial by improperly interfering with his access to witnesses, including by not granting them use immunity; and (3) the government’s statements during summation denied him a fair trial. The Court rejected all three claims.

First, the Court agreed with the district court that Tavarez’s bank records were relevant and that their probative value was not outweighed by any risk of unfair prejudice. The evidence showed that Tavarez deposited and withdrew large sums of cash at relevant times, despite reporting no income or …

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Categories: evidence, summation

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Categories: evidence, summation

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Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

Circuit Affirms Convictions of Madoff Co-Conspirators

The Circuit issued no published criminal decisions today. But it did issue three summary orders, including a 30-page decision (does that still qualify as a “summary” order?) affirming the fraud-related convictions of five former employees of Bernie Madoff’s investment company.

  1. United States v. Bonventre, No. 14-4714-cr(L) (2d Cir. Apr. 20, 2016) (Walker, Raggi, and Droney)

Five former employee of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities were convicted after trial of multiple counts of conspiratorial and substantive securities fraud, bank fraud, and related charges for their participation in a massive scheme to defraud thousands of investors of tens of billions of dollars. On appeal, the defendants challenged various trial court rulings, the sufficiency of the evidence, the government’s trial conduct, and the judgments of forfeiture. The Court rejected all of their claims.

Bill of Particulars

First, the Court held that the district court did not err by denying a request for …


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Categories: evidence, forfeiture, government misconduct, joinder, sufficiency

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Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

Romeo and “Julie”

United States v. Joseph, No. 06-5911-cr (2d Cir. September 9, 2008) (Newman, Walker, Sotomayor, CJJ)

Dennis Joseph, through an internet chat room called “I Love Older Men,” met “Julie,” an FBI agent posing as a thirteen-year-old girl. He began exchanging messages with her describing sexual acts he wanted to perform with her, and over time, they made a plan to meet at a café in Manhattan. As the meeting date grew closer, Joseph balked, but “Julie” made him promise that he would really show up. He did, and was arrested. In a post-arrest statement, he indicated that he had no intention of having sex with “Julie.”

Joseph was charged with enticement, under 18 U.S.C. § 2422(b). At trial, he pursued a lack-of-intent defense. Both he and his wife described him as having a proclivity for muscular women, and asserted that he used the internet primarily for role-playing purposes. Indeed, Joseph …


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Categories: evidence, jury charge, Uncategorized

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Thursday, February 7th, 2008

Dismembers Only

United States v. Pepin, No. 06-1462-cr (2d Cir. February 6, 2008) (Walker, Calabresi, Sack, CJJ)

Humberto Pepin is awaiting a capital trial in the Eastern District of New York, where he is charged, inter alia, with murdering two individuals who crossed him, in ways real or imagined, in the course of his drug dealing enterprise. In a series of pretrial rulings, Judge Weinstein (1) precluded from the penalty phase evidence that Pepin had abused his girlfriend’s children and (2) precluded from both the guilt and penalty phases evidence that Pepin dismembered his victims after he killed them. The government appealed, and the circuit affirmed on the child abuse, but reversed on the dismemberment.

Child Abuse

Judge Weinstein held primarily that the evidence of the child abuse, a non-statutory aggravator, was not relevant to future dangerousness, the theory relied on by the government in the death notice. The judge reasoned that, …


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Categories: death penalty, evidence, Rule 402, Uncategorized

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