Archive | waiver

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

“Unrelated inquiries that prolong or add time to a traffic stop violate the Fourth Amendment absent reasonable suspicion of a separate crime.”

The title is the holding of today’s Second Circuit opinion in United States v. Gomez (Parker, Wesley, Droney) (on appeal from D. Conn.). Specifically, the Circuit held that (1) the Fourth Amendment was violated when officers prolonged a minutes-long traffic stop to investigate matters unrelated to the pretextual basis for the stop, but that (2) suppression was not warranted because the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule applied. The opinion is available here.

A DEA task force had been investigating Mr. Gomez in connection with a heroin trafficking operation. One of the task force members, a Hartford police officer, testified that he observed the defendant commit three traffic violations. The officer used these violations as grounds to conduct a traffic stop. “From the moment” the officer first approached the car, “his questioning detoured from the mission of the stop (Gomez’s traffic violations) to the DEA’s heroin-trafficking investigation.” Slip …


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Categories: forfeiture, Fourth Amendment, good faith, traffic stop, waiver

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Friday, October 13th, 2017

What Does a Guilty Plea (Inherently) Waive?

It’s been a slow criminal law week in the Second Circuit. Last week, however, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Class v. United States on the question of “[w]hether a guilty plea inherently waives a defendant’s right to challenge the constitutionality of his statute of conviction.” The stakes of this decision may be low in the plea bargaining context, where the government can insist on a waiver of the right to challenge the constitutionality of the charged offense. When the defendant takes an open plea, however, the inherent waiver question matters.

Interestingly, the petitioner’s certiorari petition highlights an apparent conflict in the Second Circuit’s case law on this question.

From the petitioner’s brief:

“In United States v. Curcio, 712 F.2d 1532 (2d Cir. 1983), Judge Friendly’s opinion for the court correctly summarized the Blackledge/Menna rule: “[A] defendant who has been convicted ona plea of guilty may challenge his …

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Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

Porn At Home

United States v. Polouizzi, No. 08-1830-cr (2d Cir. April 24, 2009)(Leval, Katzmann, Raggi, CJJ)

Defendant – referred to in the opinion as Peter Polizzi – was convicted by a jury of eleven counts of possession of child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(4)(B), and twelve counts of receipt of child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252(a)(2), after the jury rejected his insanity defense. Post-trial, he made a Rule 33 motion, arguing that the district court erred by refusing to inform the jury that the receipt counts carried a five-year mandatory minimum. Based in part on a post-verdict colloquy with the jurors that revealed that at least some of them would have accepted the insanity defense had they known of the mandatory minimum, the court granted the motion on the receipt counts only. Both sides appealed.

The Defendant’s Appeal

A. Double Jeopardy

1. Multiple Counts of Possession…


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Categories: child pornography, double counting, mandatory minimum, Rule 33, Uncategorized, waiver

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Thursday, January 31st, 2008

Speed Bump

United States v. Abad, No. 06-0338-cr (2d Cir. January 30, 2008) (Jacobs, Parker, Wesley, CJJ) (per curiam)

Here, the court holds that a failure to make a claim under the Speedy Trial Act in the district court results in a waiver of the issue on appeal. Thus, an unpreserved statutory speedy trial claim cannot be reviewed at all, even for plain error.

Comment: This one’s kind of a no-brainer, since the statute expressly so provides. 18 U.S.C. § 3162(a)(2). The only complication is United States v. Sorrentino, 72 F.3d 294, 297 (2d Cir. 1995), in which the court actually reviewed an unpreserved Speedy Trial Act claim for plain error, even though no motion had been made below. The Abad panel devised a double-barreled solution to the conundrum: first, it blamed the lawyers, noting that no party mentioned § 3162(a)(2) in its briefing in Sorrentino, and then, just to make sure, …


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Categories: speedy trial, Uncategorized, waiver

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Monday, December 31st, 2007

Permanent Waive

United States v. Quinones, No. 04-5554 (2d Cir. December 28, 2007) (Winter, Cabranes, Raggi, CJJ)

This case has lengthy discussions of two important issues. It turns out that the one that has received the less press is actually the more interesting of the two, so we’ll begin with that.

1. Sentencing Error Waived

Facts: In this capital case, the defendants initially faced three counts that exposed them to the death penalty. Two related to murder in aid of racketeering under 18 U.S.C. § 1959; for these, a life sentence was mandatory if death was not imposed. The defendants were acquitted of these counts.

They were convicted only of murder in relation to a continuing drug enterprise (“CCE”) under 21 U.S.C. § 848(e). At the time, that section provided for a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment and a maximum of life if death was not imposed. Nevertheless, the defendants …


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Categories: jury selection, sentencing, Uncategorized, waiver

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