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US v Courtright, 09-2880

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By FindLaw Staff on January 13, 2011 4:09 PM

Conviction for child pornography related crimes

US v Courtright, 09-2880, concerned a challenge to a conviction of defendant for production, possession, and receipt of child pornography, claiming that the district court erred in admitting evidence of prior sexual assault and in jury instruction.


In affirming, the court held that, although the district court erred in admitting evidence of defendant's prior sexual assault, the error was harmless as defendant's status as a sex offender was already before the jury and thus, the likelihood that the prior bad act testimony from the witness had any effect on the jury is negligible.  The court also held that defendant has failed to establish that the instructions were plainly erroneous as the evidence of defendant's guilt was overwhelming, and he has not established that the jury's consideration of his prior offense had an appreciable impact on the verdict.  Lastly, the court held that defendant's claim of cumulative error fails as there was abundant evidence of defendant's guilt.

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