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US v. Tanner, 09-2370

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By FindLaw Staff on December 17, 2010 1:10 PM

Cocaine possession and distribution conviction

US v. Tanner, 09-2370, concerned a challenge to a district court's conviction of defendant for his involvement in a conspiracy to distribute large amounts of cocaine and imposition of a life

 

sentence.

In affirming, the court held that the prosecutor's comments during closing argument did not plainly implicate, even directly, defendant's constitutional right to remain silent.  Further, except for certain testimony regarding defendant's possession of a firearm, all of the challenged evidence were clearly admissible, and the one exception was harmless.  The court also held that, although the ostrich instruction was given in error, defendant cannot establish that he was harmed by that error, and rejected defendant's claim that the district court erred in failing to provide "Sears" instruction and limiting instructions.  Lastly, the court affirmed the defendant's sentence of life imprisonment as reasonable.

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