Archive | justification

Monday, April 20th, 2009

Kopp Out

United States v. Kopp, No. 07-797-cr (2d Cir. April 6, 2009) (Kearse, Katzmann, CJJ, Chin, DJ) (per curiam)

James Charles Kopp was sentenced to life plus ten after a jury convicted him of killing an abortion provider, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 248, and discharging a firearm in connection with a crime of violence. He raised a host of issues on appeal, all of which were quickly dispatched by the court.

First, he complained that some of his pretrial statements were improperly admitted because they occurred when he was represented by conflicted counsel. But since his motion to suppress the statements was untimely, he was not entitled to relief. Moreover, he testified at trial and admitted the killing, which was in substance the content of the statements he sought to have suppressed.

He also complained that the admission of redacted versions of the statements violated the rule of completeness …

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Categories: justification, Uncategorized

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Friday, May 9th, 2008

Yanni, Get Your Gun

United States v. Desinor, No. 05-4500-cr (2d Cir. May 8, 2008) (Walker, Straub, Hall, CJJ)

This prosecution arose from a murderous rivalry between two drug gangs. One, the “Cream Team” (footnote 1 of the opinion, which explains the derivation of this name, is a must-read), was populated largely by the defendants on trial. The rival gang sold drugs out of a neighboring building, and was run by a dealer named Yanni. The appeal raised two issues of first impression relating to jury instructions in homicide cases. The court affirmed on those issues, but one defendant won a partial resentencing.

The Homicide

The trial evidence revealed that members of the Cream Team shot and killed Yanni’s cousin, and that this shooting was the culmination of a period of escalating acts of violence between the two groups. On the day of the shooting, heavily armed Cream Team members were looking for Yanni …

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Categories: “engaging in, 924(c), justification, self-defense, Uncategorized

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