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Denial of Habeas Petition in Criminal Sexual Conduct Prosecution Affirmed, Plus Administrative, Contract and Criminal Matters

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By FindLaw Staff on July 21, 2010 11:31 AM

In Burton v. Fabian, No. 09-2137, a prosecution for criminal sexual conduct, aggravated robbery, burglary, and related crimes, the court of appeals affirmed the denial of petitioner's habeas petition, holding that petitioner was not permitted to collaterally attack his sentence based on Cunningham v. California, 549 U.S. 270 (2007).

In US v. Asset Based Res. Group, No. 09-2548, a challenge to the district court's approval of a foreclosure agreement in a receivership proceeding, the court of appeals dismissed a creditor's appeal from the order, holding that, because the creditor did not move to stay the sale pending appeal, the appeal was moot.

In US v. Finley, No. 09-3159, the court of appeals affirmed defendant's convictions for possession of child pornography and receipt and distribution of child pornography, holding that, from the record, the court was not left with the definite and firm conviction that a mistake was committed in the search warrant at issue.

In US v. Midkiff, No. 08-3493, the Eighth Circuit affirmed defendant's convictions for conspiracy, mail and wire fraud, and failure to file tax returns, holding that 1) tax charges may be joined with fraud charges if the unreported income arises solely and directly out of the fraudulent scheme; 2) although "prior bad acts" testimony about defendant's prior ventures should not have been admitted, the error was harmless; and 3) the district court properly calculated the guidelines range and recognized that the guidelines were advisory.

In US v. Ruiz-Chavez, No. 09-3397, the Eighth Circuit affirmed defendant's convictions for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, on the grounds that 1) defendant's arrest occurred during the charged conspiracy, and the circumstances of the arrest were relevant to prove the existence of the conspiracy, and thus evidence of the arrest was properly admitted; 2) defendant failed to show that the testimony was particularly likely to confuse, distract, or inflame the jury; and 3) Fed. R. Evid. 404(b) did not apply to the testimony because the conduct in question was intrinsic to the charged drug conspiracy.

In US v. Sistrunk, No. 08-3732, the court of appeals affirmed defendant's sentence following the revocation of his supervised release, on the grounds that 1) the petition for revocation of supervised release provided extensive factual allegations that were sufficient to put defendant on notice that he would have to defend against crimes of fraudulently obtaining state identification cards and a credit card; and 2) because the court found no error with the district court's determination that Sistrunk violated Minnesota Statute section 609.527, it was unnecessary to review whether he violated any of the other statutes at issue.

In US v. West, No. 09-3467, the Eighth Circuit affirmed defendant's convictions and sentence for conspiring to distribute cocaine base, and possessing cocaine base with intent to distribute, on the grounds that 1) probable cause existed for the stop, and thus the district court properly denied defendant's motion to suppress; 2) there was a sufficient connection between the gun and the drug conspiracy to support a firearm enhancement; and 3) defendant explained adequately its decision to impose a within-Guidelines sentence.

In Vossen v. Astrue, No. 09-1985, an action challenging an administrative law judge's (ALJ) determination that plaintiff was ineligible for social security disability benefits, the court affirmed on the ground that the opinions of non-treating practitioners who attempted to evaluate the claimant without examination did not normally constitute substantial evidence on the record as a whole.

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