Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

Summary Summary

Four more summary orders of note:

In United States v. Magner, No. 11-0751-cr (2d Cir. January 25, 2012), a child pornography case, the court voided a special condition of supervised release prohibiting the defendant from using an electronic device to access “pornography of any kind,” including any “website depicting images of nude adults or minors.” The condition was overbroad, as it included “materials that are not by any normal definition obscene, pornographic, or even erotic, such as art museum websites containing works of art.”

United States v. Echeverri, No. 11-0303-cr (2d Cir. February 16, 2012), found that a within-guideline, ninety-seventh month child pornography sentence was insufficiently explained, and hence procedurally unreasonable, where the district court justified the sentence only by observing that it had considered the statute and arguments of counsel and had concluded that a “low end” sentence was appropriate.

In United States v. Fann, No. 11-0540-cr (2d Cir. February 21, 2012), a government appeal, the court upheld a district court order finding that a putative “protective sweep” violated the Fourth Amendment, “[i]n part” because the government did not submit any “affidavits or other evidence” to “develop the record” in the district court. The court agreed that the government thereby failed to establish that the officers “reasonably believed that an individual was present at the time of Fann’s arrest and that such individual posed a danger.”

In United States v. Hill, No. 11-4790-cr (2d Cir. February 21, 2012), the court recognized that an excessively long period of pretrial detention can constitute a due process violation, but found that there was no such violation here. The “lengthy” period “certainly require[d a] convincing justification” but was justified by the inherent complexity of the large multi-defendant case, with “voluminous discovery” and “myriad motions to address.” Moreover, the delay was not occasioned by the government but, mostly, by requests for continuances by the twenty co-defendants.

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