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Conviction for Failure to Register Under Sex Offender Notification and Registration Act Affirmed

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By FindLaw Staff on July 26, 2010 11:03 AM

In US v. Iron Hawk, No. 09-3081, the court of appeals affirmed defendant's conviction for assault resulting in serious bodily injury to a child, holding that 1) the lack of direct evidence demonstrating that defendant assaulted the victim was not dispositive; 2) the testimony from the medical professionals presented by the government provided a sufficient basis for the jury to conclude that the victim's serious injuries were caused by defendant; and 3) even if one doctor's testimony was not admissible, the error was harmless.

John T. Jones Const. Co. v. Hoot Gen'l. Const. Co., No. 09-1493, involved an application for breach of a general contract.  The court of appeals affirmed judgment for plaintiff on the grounds that 1) the parol evidence rule had no application to the issue of contract formation; 2) it was not unreasonable, based on the evidence, for the district court to conclude defendant intended to be bound under the assumption the risk of rejection was negligible; and 3) the district court's determination that the damages at issue arose from a weather delay, and not from the dispute over the subcontract, was supported by substantial evidence.

In US v. Jones, No. 09-2945, the court of appeals affirmed defendants' sentences for possession of a sawed-off shotgun, and possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number, holding that 1) the district court did not abuse its discretion in considering criminal history not accounted for in defendant's criminal history category; 2) conduct resulting in an enhancement for obstruction of justice indicated that the defendant has not accepted responsibility for his criminal conduct; and 3) the nature of the crime and its effect on the victims justified strong punishment.

In US v. McCraney, No. 09-1943, the court of appeals affirmed defendants' convictions and sentences for possession of cocaine base with intent to distribute, robbery in violation of the Hobbs Act, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, on the grounds that 1) the district court did not abuse its discretion in ruling that defendant's statement was not sufficiently trustworthy to be admitted into evidence under Fed. R. Evid. 807.3; 2) the jury could reasonably choose to credit a witness's testimony despite his checkered background and potential bias; 3) a reasonable jury could find that defendant constructively possessed the firearm at issue during the getaway; and 4) the district court's refusal to group the charges together did not result in double counting.

In US v. Rodriguez, No. 09-2347, the court of appeals affirmed defendant's conviction and sentence for being a felon in possession of a firearm, on the grounds that 1) the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying substitution of counsel; 2) the prosecutor's closing remarks were neither misleading nor inflammatory; and 3) 18 U.S.C. section 922(g) did not contain a time limit for predicate offenses, and Congress would have included a time limit had it wanted to do so.

In US v. Waddle, No. 09-3607, the court of appeals affirmed defendant's conviction for failing to register under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), on the grounds that 1) 18 U.S.C. section 2250 did not punish a defendant for previously having been convicted of a sex crime, but rather punished convicted sex offenders who traveled in interstate commerce after the enactment of SORNA and who failed to register as required by SORNA; 2) Congress did not exceed its authority under the Commerce Clause in enacting SORNA; and 3) private parties acting in an individual capacity, such as defendant, did not have standing to assert that SORNA violated the Tenth Amendment by commandeering state officials to administer federal law.

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