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Criminal Matter, Plus Takings Clause Suit On Behalf Of Indian Tribe

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By FindLaw Staff on July 30, 2010 8:10 PM

US v. Gerhard, 08-2056, concerned a challenge to a conviction of defendants for actively supporting two convicted criminals during a well-publicized, nine-month standoff with federal authorities.  In affirming the conviction and the sentences, the court rejcted defendants' claims that their convictions are multiplicitous.  Court held that the indictment adequately alleged the federal crimes committed by the two principals, and that the U.S. had "territorial jurisdiction" to prosecute defendants.  Court held that a defendant's Sixth Amendment right to represent himself was not violated.  Also, a defendant's ineffective assistance of counsel claim is premature, and his remaining claims related to the trial are meritless.  Court held that there was no error in the verdict form or jury instructions, that defendants' convictions for conspiracy to be an accessory after the fact and for being an accessory after the fact were supported by sufficient evidence, and rejected defendants' various challenges to their sentences. 

Bingham v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 09-2049, concerned plaintiffs' Takings Clause suit against the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Town of Mashpee, framed as a class action on behalf of themselves and all similarly situated descendants of the Mashpee Wampanoag Indians.  In affirming the district court's dismissal of the suit concluding that plaintiffs lack standing, the court held that there is no jurisdiction to hear the case because, even when viewing all factual allegations in plaintiffs' favor, plaintiffs cannot show they have suffered a personal injury as a result of the challenged state actions.

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