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Criminal Matters

By FindLaw Staff on March 11, 2010 12:02 PM

In US v. Shuler, No. 08-3194, the court of appeals affirmed defendants' sentences for child pornography production on the grounds that 1) the district court's explicit statement that "the ultimate sentence of 470 months would be the same even without the four-level increase for sadistic images and other depictions of violence" cured any procedural error; and 2) even if defendant was ignorant of the hidden camera, the tape recorded on the camera was ample evidence defendant enticed the minor victim to produce child pornography.

In US v. Akens, No. 09-1695, the court of appeals affirmed defendant's drug and firearm possession convictions, holding that 1) defendant's prior Missouri conviction was a sufficient predicate for his 18 U.S.C. section 922(g)(1) conviction, despite its expungement; 2) defendant was not entitled to a Franks hearing because he did not make a substantial preliminary showing; and 3) defendant knowingly and voluntarily waived his rights to appeal the firearm enhancement and the career offender status in exchange for the 140-month sentence.

In US v. Dodd, No. 09-1946, the Eighth Circuit affirmed defendant's sentence for knowingly receiving and possessing child pornography, holding that 1) absent concrete evidence of ignorance -- evidence that was needed because ignorance was entirely counterintuitive -- a fact-finder could reasonably infer that the defendant knowingly employed a file sharing program for its intended purpose; and 2) the district court committed no procedural error in determining defendant's advisory guidelines sentencing range.

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