Archive | comptency

Tuesday, February 11th, 2020

Second Circuit Affirms Denial of Post Trial Competency Hearing for Pro Se Defendant with “Sovereign Citizen” Tax Defense.

In United States v. DiMartino, __ F.3d __, 2020 WL 550475 (Feb. 4, 2020) (Jacobs, Sack, Hall), the Circuit affirmed the denial of a post-trial motion for a competency hearing based on the defendant’s persistent adherence to the “Sovereign Citizen” theory that the IRS and Justice Department are private corporations, the tax laws are invalid, and the court had no jurisdiction over him. The defendant had represented himself at trial and his defense was that this theory was true and that he believed it was true. After his conviction, he retained counsel for sentencing. Counsel filed the motion with a psychologist’s report concluding that the defendant had a delusional disorder, based on his continuing insistence on the Sovereign Citizen theory. The Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s conclusion that, based on DiMartino’s conduct of the trial, he was competent, and that the psychologist’s report was unreliable.

The Second …

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Categories: comptency, Sovereign Citizen

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Thursday, June 16th, 2016

Defendants bat 0-3 in the Circuit today

The Second Circuit issued three summary orders in criminal cases today.

In United States v. Clare, 15-1601, the Court affirmed the defendant’s conviction on marijuana and gun charges.  Clare argued that the evidence at trial was insufficient to sustain the convictions, primarily because the cooperating witnesses were not credible. The Court rejected this argument, explaining that “the credibility of witnesses is within the province of the jury, not this Court.”  Order at 2.  In light of the remaining evidence, the Court held that a reasonable juror could have concluded that Clare was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  Because the evidence was sufficient, Clare’s attorney was not ineffective in failing to move for a judgment of acquittal in post-trial briefing.  The Court also affirmed the district court’s denial of a motion to suppress.

In United States v. Washington, 14-4740, the Circuit rejected the defendant’s assertion that he had been …

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Categories: comptency, sentencing, sufficiency

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Sunday, September 28th, 2008

Commitment Issues

United States v. Magassouba, No. 06-2628-cr (2d Cir. September 19, 2008) (Parker, Raggi, Wesley, CJJ)

Defendant Magassouba has been in custody since at least August of 2003, when he was ordered detained on heroin trafficking charge that carried a ten-year mandatory minimum sentence. Between approximately January of 2004 and May of 2005 he was subject to various competency evaluations, all of which concluded that he was not competent to stand trial, but that he could be restored to competency through appropriate medication. Since Magassouba refused to take any medication, his evaluators recommended that he be medicated involuntarily.

Although the competency evaluations themselves ended in May of 2005, the district court’s final order in the matter, and subject of this appeal, was not entered until May of 2006. In that order, the court directed that Magassouba be re-hospitalized for continued treatment, and that he be forcibly mediated.

Magassouba raised a host …

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Categories: comptency, due process, Uncategorized

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