Sunday, July 27, 2008

Summary Summary

So far, a bunch of interesting summary orders this month. Here’s the roundup:

In United States v. Pryce, No. 07-2210-cr (July 25, 2008), a marijuana trafficking case, the court vacated the sentence and remanded for findings on the scope of the defendant’s participation in the conspiracy.

United States v. Gumbs, No. 06-4708-cr (July 24, 2008), upheld a finding that the defendant’s false claim of United States citizenship to pretrial services warranted a sentence enhancement for obstruction of justice.

In United States v. Marucilli, No. 08-1145-cr (July 23, 2008), the court vacated the defendant’s conviction in a housing fraud case because the district court erroneously instructed the jury that the money that funded the housing subsidy was the property of the United States. This “improperly took out of the hands of the jury the factual issue of whether the United States exercised ‘sufficient supervision and control’ over the funds to support the allegation that they were ‘moneys of the United States.’”

In United States v. Givens, No. 05-5189-cr (July 18, 2008), there court was an Apprendi error in the court’s treatment of a “continuing criminal enterprise” sentence under 21 U.S.C. § 848(a). The critical findings - role and drug quantity - should have been made by the jury, not the court.

In United States v. Mahaffy, No. 07-3570-cr (July 7, 2008), the court vacated a false-statements conviction under 18 U.S.C. § 1001 because the charge on intent was erroneous. A statement that is literally true cannot support a conviction under this section, even if it is intended to mislead the questioner.


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