US v. Robinson, 09-4276 - U.S. Fourth Circuit
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US v. Robinson, 09-4276

Defendant's conviction and sentence for drug trafficking and firearms crimes and denial of motion for retrial affirmed

US v. Robinson, 09-4276, concerned a challenge to a conviction of defendant for numerous drug trafficking and firearms offenses, a sentence of 50-years' imprisonment, and the district court's denial of defendant's motion for a retrial. 

 

In affirming the conviction, the court held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying defendant's motion for a new trial as evidence regarding the unrelated misconduct of a few of the police officers who testified at defendant's trial did not undermine defendant's thoroughly demonstrated guilt.  The court rejected defendant's attempt to recast his defunct Rule 33 claim in Brady terms, because the prosecutors did not actually or constructively possess knowledge of the officers' misconduct for Brady purposes and because defendant cannot meet Brady's materiality requirement.  Lastly, although the jury was erroneously instructed that defendant's drugs-for-firearms trades satisfied the "use or carry" prong of section 924(c), defendant's amply proven conduct nonetheless fall squarely falls within the section's second, "possession" prong.

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