United States v. Stinson

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 08-05-2011
  • Case #: 07-50408; 07-50409
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Rymer for the Court; Circuit Judges Callahan and Ikuta
  • Full Text Opinion

Defendant’s convictions of RICO conspiracy under 18 U.S.C. § 3237 and defendant Stinson’s conviction of a VICAR crime under 18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(1) were confirmed after appealing thirteen procedural decisions.

The district court convicted Stinson and Griffin of RICO conspiracy under 18 U.S.C. § 1962(d), and convicted Stinson of violent crime in aid of racketeering (“VICAR”) under 18 U.S.C. § 1959(a)(1). Stinson and Griffin appealed thirteen procedural decisions. The Ninth Circuit held that (1) VICAR is a continuing offense when the indictment charges that the essential conduct of the offense continued in the subsequent jurisdiction; (2) trials need not be severed absent evidence that a specific trial right was violated and where the jury was instructed to decide each charge separately; (3) a death qualified jury in a non-capital case does not violate the Sixth Amendment; (4) a Batson challenge may be denied for lack of prima facie showing or for sufficient government explanation; (5) redactions that do not concern testimony are not Brady material that require the court review or disclose; (6) government conduct was not outrageous where pressure and witness compensation was not unconstitutional and, evidence of prior perjury need not be suppressed where the jury is judging a witnesses credibility; (7) a previous habeas order was inadmissible hearsay when it was offered for its truth; (8) “vouching testimony” was harmless where it was corroborative, against the witness’ interests, and outstripped by strong documentary evidence; (9) “prosecutorial misconduct in posing hypotheticals was harmless in light of jury instructions and a strong government case”; (10) instruction that recent acts of concealment “may or may not” be considered acts in furtherance, gave the jury sufficient latitude; (11) where, after a person told two jurors “[the defendants were] not guilty,” the court instructed that the person was not a party to the case, and satisfied the jurors were unaffected, need not disclose that the person was a potential government witness; (12) even without jury admonition, defendant’s substantial rights were not affected when the read back testimony was only a small portion of the evidence demonstrating defendants’ involvement; (13) the special verdict form did not suggest the burden of proof fell on the defendant merely because the court phrased the proper instruction as a statement rather than as a question. AFFIRMED.

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