Sunday, October 11th, 2009

Summary Summary

Here’s a fairly large crop of summary orders of interest.

In United States v. Smith, No. 07-5740-cr (2d Cir. October 8, 2009), the court agreed that it was error to admit a picture of the defendant’s tattoo – which depicted the skull, arms and ribcage of a skeleton firing a weapon – in a homicide case. Other than to show propensity, the evidence was irrelevant. The error, however, was harmless.

In United States v. Jackson, No. 08-0541-cr (2d Cir. October 2, 2009), the court found no error in allowing the government to prove two assaults through hearsay at a supervised release violation hearing. The government justified the hearsay by asserting that the victims were no longer cooperating with the authorities – one had recanted and the other had indicated that she was afraid of the defendant. The court found that the government conclusively demonstrated the reliability of the hearsay.

In United States v. Tejada, No. 07-3419-cr (2d Cir. September 30, 2009), the government, on its own initiative, noted that a seven-year consecutive § 924(c) sentence was illegal under Williams and agreed to a remand.

In United States v. Seifer, No. 08-5864-cr (2d Cir. September 30, 2009), the court affirmed the denial of the defendants’ attorneys fees under the Hyde Amendment. But the court also acknowledged the district court’s criticism of the government’s conduct in the case, “criticism that the government appears to concede was warranted.”

United States v. Mends, No. 08-0158-cr (2d Cir. September 17, 2009), vacated a guilty plea to aggravated identity theft under Flores-Figueroa, because the defendant did not allocute to knowing that he was using the identification of an actual person.

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