US v. Williams, 08-2070, concerned a challenge to a conviction of defendant for conspiracy to distribute cocaine. In affirming the conviction, the court held that the circumstances of defendant's 2005 confession do not show involuntariness, and rejected defendant's claim that the district court violated Rule 404(b) of the Federal Rules of Evidence in admitting the confession. Court also held that the jury had plenty of reasons to find defendant guilty, and that the evidence presented at trial did not depart from the conduct charged in the indictment. Lastly, the court held that ample evidence supports the district court's finding defendant responsible for more than 150 kilograms of cocaine at sentencing.
Japarkulova v. Holder, 09-3583, concerned a Kyrgyz Republic's citizen's petition for review of the BIA's denial of her application for asylum. In denying the petition, the court held that, although the Board erred by failing to provide a reasoned explanation for its conclusion that petitioner did not experience past persecution based on her claims that she received death threats from the president's security minister, the error was harmless. Furthermore, substantial evidence supports the Board's conclusion that petitioner did not establish a well-founded fear of future persecution.