U.S. Eighth Circuit - The FindLaw 8th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

November 2013 Archives

5 Fish Poaching Indictments Dismissed, Creating Sea of Confusion

A federal judge in Minneapolis recently tossed the indictments of five American Indians arrested in a major fish poaching bust on Indian reservations in northern Minnesota. The judge ruled the men were protected under an 1837 treaty.

But another federal judge in the same district came to the exact opposite conclusion -- even though the case was borne from the same undercover investigation.

The Eighth Circuit may have to get on board, get its feet wet on the issue, and reel in a solution to this extraordinary split.

Government Gives Up Fight For Stripper's $1M, But Why?

The California stripper who had $1 million seized by a Nebraska state trooper during a traffic stop will get to keep her mega moola. On Tuesday, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals granted the U.S. Attorney's Office in Omaha's motion to dismiss its own appeal of a federal judge's order to return the $1 million (plus interest!) to the exotic dancer, Tara Mishra.

Why did the government give up the fight? It's anyone's guess, as the government is keeping mum.

Let the conspiracy theories begin!

Ark. Death Row Inmate Wins Appeal on Mental Retardation Issue

An Arkansas death row inmate won a crucial part of his appeal before the Eighth Circuit on Friday, with the court remanding for a further evaluation of the convict's mental retardation.

According to The Associated Press, Andrew Sasser was convicted of raping and murdering a store clerk 20 years ago, but a recent victory in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals will get him a new hearing in federal district court.

What was the Eighth Circuit's reasoning?

Ryan Ferguson Freed After Decade in Prison

Ryan Ferguson, a Missouri man who spent nearly a decade behind bars for the murder of Columbia Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt, was freed this week after the Missouri Western District Court of Appeals overturned his conviction.

Ferguson, now 29, was convicted in 2005 of robbing and killing Heitholt in a drunken escapade. In large part, the conviction stemmed from the testimony of Ferguson's friend Charles Erickson.

For all these years, Ferguson has maintained his innocence. Now, eight years later, he's officially a free man.

William Hedgcock Webster: From the 8th Cir. to the CIA

CNN recently released a list of fast facts on past and present CIA directors. Among those listed is former Director of Central Intelligence William Hedgcock Webster, who traces his roots to right here in the Eighth Circuit.

For practitioners gunning for a more varied career, here's how one person went from serving as a U.S. Attorney and an Eighth Circuit judge to becoming the 14th Director of Central Intelligence.

8th Cir. Puts Brakes on Trooper Immunity in High-Speed Chase Case

Qualified immunity cases involving law enforcement are always hip and happening in the circuit. But qualified immunity cases involving a high-speed chase? Now we're really talking.

The Eighth Circuit put its seatbelt on and weathered a bumpy legal ride that explored whether an individual state trooper could claim sovereign immunity for his actions during an arrest following a high-speed chase.

Maryville Rape Special Prosecutor: Who Is Jean Peters Baker?

We recently discussed the appointment of Jean Peters Baker as special prosecutor to take over the investigation of the high-profile sexual assault case of Daisy Coleman, the Maryville teen who was allegedly raped by a high school football player and then harassed relentlessly for being a victim.

Here are five facts about Baker that may make a difference in the handling of the case this time around.