Thursday, February 28th, 2008

Summary Summary

It’s been a slow month for summary orders, but at last the court has eked out three of them worth noting.

First, in United States v. Spencer, No. 06-2517-cr (2d Cir. February 26, 2008), the court reversed both defendants’ conviction of conspiracy to commit bankruptcy fraud because the judge erroneously charged the jury that the defendant who testified had a “deep personal interest in the outcome of his prosecution” that created “a motive for false testimony.”

The “mandate rule” prohibits relitigating on remand issues that the appellate court has already ruled on. In United States v. Argentina, No. 06-1989-cr (2d Cir. February 26, 2008), the court noted that there is an exception to the mandate rule for “cogent and compelling reasons” such as new evidence; here, however, any error in the district court’s refusal to apply the exception was harmless.

Finally, in United States v. Sutton, No. 06-2522-cr (February 11, 2008), the court vacated a special condition of supervised release that was in the written judgment, but that the judge had not imposed orally.

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