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

February 2018 Archives

In what must ring out as a hollow victory for Iowa State University, a federal district court has dismissed a Title IX case alleging the institution took too long to investigate a sexual assault incident back in March 2014. The delay allegedly resulted in the student victim experiencing a deprivation of educational opportunity.

The University's issued the following statement:

A Kansas City man who was sentenced to three years in jail for pointing a laser pointer at a police helicopter challenged the application of a sentencing enhancement. Interestingly, while the guidelines on his conviction, with the enhancement, recommended 41 to 51 months, the judge only imposed a 36 month sentence.

Nevertheless, the laser-happy defendant claimed that the sentencing enhancement for reckless conduct shouldn't apply -- despite intentionally shining the laser at the helicopter while being fully aware of the risk of harming the pilot and endangering the lives of those onboard the helicopter. The Eighth Circuit didn't agree, and didn't spend too much time explaining why.

Justice Diana Murphy has been honored this year by Minnesota Lawyer for her "Outstanding Service to the Profession." After spending 4 years on the bench in state court, then 14 years on the federal District Court in Minnesota, and then another 22 years on the federal appellate bench in the Eighth Circuit, she has spent almost half of her life on the bench, and she's 84 years old.

Judge Murphy was not only the first female justice on the Eighth Circuit, she was the only from 1994 to 2016.

Headlines from the beginning of the year detailed the unsealed federal domestic terrorism charges against Taylor Michael Wilson, and recently, additional federal gun charges have been heaped upon the defendant.

In October 2017, Wilson boarded an Amtrak train in California, headed home to Missouri. However, while the train was in Nebraska, train authorities discovered Wilson in one of the engine cars of the train playing with the controls after applying the emergency break. Wilson was armed, but Amtrak staff were able to restrain him until law enforcement arrived.