Archive | waiver

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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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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