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Sample Weekly Opinion Summaries
Criminal Law & Procedure

June 21-25, 2010 Weekly Criminal Law & Procedure Newsletter
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Table of Contents


  • Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project
  • Skilling v. US
  • Black v. US
  • Magwood v. Patterson
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U.S. Supreme Court, June 21, 2010
Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, No. 08-1498
In a constitutional challenge to 18 U.S.C. section 2339B(a)(1), which prohibited knowingly providing material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization, the Ninth Circuit's affirmance of partial judgment for plaintiffs is reversed in part where the material support statute was constitutional as applied to the particular forms of support that plaintiffs sought to provide to foreign terrorist organizations. Read more...

U.S. Supreme Court, June 24, 2010
Skilling v. US, No. 08-1394
The Fifth Circuit's affirmance of defendant Jeffrey Skilling's honest-services fraud conviction is affirmed in part where pretrial publicity and community prejudice did not prevent Skilling from obtaining a fair trial, and he did not establish that a presumption of juror prejudice arose or that actual bias infected the jury that tried him. However, the judgment is vacated in part where 18 U.S.C. section 1346, which proscribes fraudulent deprivations of "the intangible right of honest services," was properly confined to cover only bribery and kickback schemes, and Skilling's alleged misconduct entailed no bribe or kickback. Read more...

U.S. Supreme Court, June 24, 2010
Black v. US, No. 08–876
The Seventh Circuit's affirmance of defendants' honest-services mail fraud convictions is vacated where: 1) per the ruling today in Skilling v. US, the honest-services component of the federal mail-fraud statute, 18 U.S.C. section 1346, criminalizes only schemes to defraud that involved bribes or kickbacks, and that holding renders the honest-services instructions given in this case incorrect; and 2) by properly objecting to the honest-services jury instructions at trial, defendants secured their right to challenge those instructions on appeal, and they did not forfeit that right by declining to acquiesce in the government-proposed special-verdict forms. Read more...

U.S. Supreme Court, June 24, 2010
Magwood v. Patterson, No. 09-158
In a capital habeas matter, the Eleventh Circuit's reversal of the grant of petitioner's petition is reversed where, because petitioner's habeas application challenged a new judgment for the first time, it was not "second or succcessive" under 28 U.S.C. section 2244(b). Read more...

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