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

Agriculture and Criminal Matters

Syverson v. US Dept. of Agric., No. 08-3245, involved a petition for review of an order of the Department of Agriculture determining that petitioner had engaged in unfair and deceptive trade practices, and failed to keep sufficient accounts, records and memoranda of his business.  The Eighth Circuit affirmed in part on the ground that there was substantial evidence supporting the judicial officer's determination that petitioner was acting as a market agency, that is, selling on a "commission basis."  However, the court reversed in part on the ground that, where a five-year suspension, if it permanently forced petitioner from the industry, appeared to bear no relation to the remedial purposes of the Packers and Stockyards Act.

In US v. Jones, No. 09-1378, the court of appeals affirmed defendant's cocaine possession convictions, holding that 1) assessing witness credibility was the job of the jury and absent extraordinary circumstances the court would not review that assessment; 2) there was sufficient circumstantial evidence for the jury to conclude that defendant possessed with intent to distribute the cocaine; and 3) the district court did not clearly err in finding the government provided a race-neutral justification for its peremptory strikes.

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