U.S. First Circuit - The FindLaw 1st Circuit Court of Appeals News and Information Blog

April 2013 Archives

Right Decisions Made in Boston Bombing Venue, Miranda Delay

It’s a fine line between domestic terrorism and enemy combatant, isn’t it? Dzhokhar Tsarnaev allegedly took up arms against the people of the United States. He committed despicable acts of terrorism and, some might argue, treason. For that, he will face charges in a civilian federal criminal court in the First Circuit, despite calls from many lawmakers to try him in a military commission. It’s the right choice.

He is an American citizen who committed an act of terrorism on American soil. So did Eric Rudolph and Timothy McVeigh. They received the benefits and protection of the civilian criminal justice system. So do serial killers. Mass shooters, like James Holmes, do too, if they survive that long.

SCOTUS Denies Cert. in Boston College IRA Subpoena Case

Dolours Price was, to put it mildly, a controversial figure. According to the New York Times, in her time as a member of the Irish Republican Army, she participated in the 1973 London car-bombings, helped carry out kidnappings and executions of suspected informants, and spoke out against the peace accord reached in the 1990s. It was one of her final acts, however, that brought controversy to the legal system of the United States.

Between 2001 and 2006, Price and a fellow IRA member gave a series of interviews to oral historians at Boston College, with one small condition: the tapes could not be released in their lifetimes. Nonetheless, the British subpoenaed the tapes, citing a treaty between the United States and the United Kingdom that requires the countries to share information that would aid criminal inquiries.

Purchaser of Stolen Firearm Entitled to 'Innocent Possession' Instruction

Jeffrey Baird thought he got a friendly discount when his friend, who was a weapons collector, offered to sell him a 45 ACP Smith & Wesson revolver — an excellent choice for the money. A quick scan of Internet classifieds yields a price range of around $900. He got it for $200.

The seller, Michael Hatch, claims that he told Baird that the weapons were “hot” and that Baird should’ve known that the guns were out of his price range.

Oh, caveat emptor, Baird.

Life Insurance Co. Not Liable for Lawyer's Probate Plunder

Overloaded with complicated legal concepts and boring litigation fact patterns? This opinion, penned by Judge Thompson, reads like a Hardy Boys mystery novel, including the pun-ny heading, "Misplaced Trust." It looks like Selya isn't the only talented author in the First Circuit.

Lillian Smillie penned a will in 1986 that bequeathed her entire estate, minus a few odds and expenses, to the Smillie Trust, which benefited her blind nephew Thaddeus. Thaddeus' brother, Dr. Frederick Jakobiec was named as trustee.