In a criminal case pitting two New York City firemen against each other, the Second Circuit found that the defendant was denied a "fair opportunity to present a defense and a fair trial," when the district court denied him the chance to present surrebuttal evidence.
Recently in Criminal Law Category
The Second Circuit had a case of déjà vu last week when it had to reiterate its legal findings regarding whether a New York City Police Department's ("NYPD") policy violated the Fourth Amendment rights of New York City police officers. Not surprisingly, the Second Circuit agreed with its prior ruling.
There were just too many interesting things happening in the Second Circuit last week so here's a roundup of some of our favorites.
The drama surrounding New York's stop-and-frisk case is not slowing. Just within the last week we've seen a flurry of motions from all sides (and now on Judge Shira Scheindlin's behalf too), raising issues that bring the political nature of the case to the forefront.
The big question on New Yorkers' minds is: how will this end? But the answer to that question really has to do with when, because as with many things, timing is everything.
Back in July, SAC Capital was indicted on five counts of insider trading, just two weeks after the S.E.C. filed a civil case against SAC Capital billionaire hedge fund manager Steven Cohen. Today, the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York announced a plea agreement between the DOJ and SAC Capital, reports Reuters.
Earlier this year in Floyd v. City of New York, U.S. District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin handed down a 237-page liability opinion finding that the City of New York, through the New York City Police Department ("City"), violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights of plaintiffs by engaging in racial profiling in the execution of its stop and frisk policy.
Though Judge Weinstein means well when he quotes the Bible and wants leniency for a particular defendant convicted of distributing child pornography, he may be standing alone.
"[T]hou shalt not let any of thy [children] pass through the fire to Molech," he recites in his Memorandum and Order, but it seems he's overlooking one important fact. The defendant, though a minor when he started his crimes, was 19 when he committed the crime he was convicted of.
In fact, you can see the divide between the district court and the Second Circuit just from the case titles alone. Judge Weinstein chose to shield the defendant and refers to him as C.R., while the Second Circuit addresses him by his full name, Corey Reingold, since he is an adult.
This case reads like the plot to a James Bond movie: a Russian arms dealer caught in an international sting operation for conspiracy to sell arms to Columbian terrorists and drug lords. We can just picture it now, with Daniel Craig chasing villains around in too-tight Tom Ford suits... but we digress.
Former Soviet air force officer Viktor Bout was caught in an international sting orchestrated by the U.S. government; he conspired to sell arms to U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration informants who were posing as members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), reports Reuters. FARC wishes to overthrow the Colombian government, is one of the world's largest cocaine suppliers, and is deemed a terrorist organization by the U.S. government.
After several meetings on several continents, Bout was arrested by Thai authorities in 2008, and later extradited to the United States in 2010.
Defendant Avery Lundquist was convicted of possessing and receiving child pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(a)(2)(A) and (a)(5)(B). Among the library of images was one of "Amy," (a pseudonym) -- a young woman who was sexually abused by her uncle when she was four years old. Amy's uncle documented his abuse of Amy in photographs and posted them on the Internet.
Amy is now in her twenties, but the pornographic images of her as a child taken by her uncle remained on the Internet. So far, around 113 individuals have been convicted of possessing images of her.
Tayfun Okatan, a U.S. citizen, was convicted of three counts related to trying to bring an illegal alien into the United States, from the Canada border. Okatan raised several issues on appeal, most of which the Second Circuit rejected in a separate summary order.
He did however, raise one successful issue: Whether his Fifth Amendment rights were violated when the government used his pre-arrest request for an attorney, and his refusal to answer questions without one, as substantive evidence of guilt. The Second Circuit found that his rights were violated, and vacated and remanded.