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The Fifth Circuit denied a petition for rehearing en banc, withdrew the prior opinion, and substituted the following opinion. The court reversed the district court's decision to enjoin the enforcement of federal laws that generally prohibit the direct sale of a handgun by a federally licensed firearms dealer (FFL) to a person who is not a resident of the state in which the FFL is located. The court held that the laws did not violate the Second Amendment and the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. The court held that the in-state sales requirement was narrowly tailored to a compelling government interest in preventing circumvention of the handgun laws of various states; the in-state sales requirement was not unconstitutional as applied to plaintiffs; the in-state sales requirement did not discriminate based on residency and was thus not subjected to any scrutiny under the equal protection component of the Due Process Clause; and plaintiffs' equal protection claim failed because the in-state sales requirement did not favor or disfavor residents of any particular state. View "Mance v. Sessions" on Justia Law

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Defendant Ryan Booth was convicted of: five counts of sexual penetration of a child 10 years old or younger (counts 2, 3, 5, 7, & 10); three counts of oral copulation of a child 10 years old or younger (counts 1, 4, & 6); five counts of preparing pornographic images of a minor (counts 8, 11, 12, 13, & 14); one count of possessing child pornography (count 9); and one count of sexual exploitation of a child (count 15). As to count 9, the jury found it to be true that defendant possessed more than 600 images and 10 or more images involving a prepubescent minor or a minor under 12 years old. Defendant was sentenced to a determinant term of 8 years 4 months, plus an indeterminate term of 120 years to life. Defendant raised two issues on appeal: (1) the trial court erroneously believed it had no discretion to run the section 288.7 (sexual penetration and oral copulation) sentences concurrently; and (2) section 311.4 did not apply to what he did. Finding no reversible error, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's judgment. View "California v. Booth" on Justia Law

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At issue in this case was whether a Brady claim is cognizable in the context of a petition for writ of error coram nobis and whether Appellant’s petition for a writ of error coram nobis should be dismissed as time-barred even though the State was not brought into the coram nobis proceedings at the trial court level and, consequently, did not assert the statute of limitations as an affirmative defense in the trial court. Appellant filed a coram nobis petition alleging that the State committed a Brady violation. The trial court dismissed Appellant’s petition in part because it was filed after expiration of the statute of limitations. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed because the petition did not present newly discovered evidence warranting coram nobis relief. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) an error coram nobis proceeding is not the appropriate procedural vehicle for obtaining relief from an alleged Brady violation; (2) timeliness under the statute of limitations is an essential element of a coram nobis claim that must be demonstrated on the face of the petition; (3) the facts supporting an equitable tolling request must likewise appear on the face of the petition; and (4) the trial court did not err in dismissing the coram nobis petition in this case. View "Nunley v. State" on Justia Law

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After a jury trial, Henry Earl Harvey was convicted of first-degree murder for the 2015 shooting death of Eddie Briggs. Harvey was sentenced to life imprisonment. Harvey filed a Motion for New Trial and for Acquittal Notwithstanding the Verdict, which was denied. Harvey's counsel filed a "Lindsey" brief, stating he “diligently searched the procedural and factual history of this criminal action and scoured the record,” finding no arguable issues for appeal. Harvey was given additional time to file a pro se brief; however, he did not do so. The Mississippi Supreme Court found the record contained "more than sufficient proof" to establish that Harvey shot and killed Eddie Briggs within the meaning of the applicable statute, and as such, affirmed his conviction and sentence. View "Harvey v. Mississippi" on Justia Law

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A jury found Andre Thomas guilty of one count of felony shoplifting. Thomas and an accomplice went to the electronics section of a Sam's Club in Gulfport, Mississippi at around 8:00 P.M. in 2015. A Sam’s Club employee was working at the store’s exit door on the night in question and was tasked with checking customers’ receipts as they left the store. As Thomas and the accomplice approached the employee, the accomplice stepped away from the store’s exit and feigned a heart attack. The employee came to the accomplice's aid, which allowed Thomas to exit the store without paying for three 60-inch 3D "smart" televisions, each valued at over $2,500. The accomplice was taken to the hospital but released on the same night. A few weeks later, he was arrested and charged with felony shoplifting. The accomplice admitted Thomas had helped him steal the televisions, and he identified Thomas from a six-person photographic lineup. Thomas' appellate counsel filed a "Lindsey" brief, asserting he could not identify any issues warranting appellate review. Thomas filed a pro se supplemental brief, challenging his sentence. Finding Thomas’s arguments to be without merit, and finding no other arguable issues in the record, the Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed Thomas’s conviction and sentence. View "Thomas v. Mississippi" on Justia Law

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The Court of Appeal affirmed an order granting the petition of the Public Guardian of the County of San Luis Obispo for reappointment as the conservator of S.A. In this case, the jury found beyond a reasonable doubt that S.A. continued to be gravely disabled as a result of a mental disorder. The court held that the Public Guardian was authorized to offer S.A.'s records to prove the historical course of her mental disorder, and the manner of production and use of the records did not violate S.A.'s statutory or constitutional rights. View "Conservatorship of S.A." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the sentence of death imposed in connection with Defendant’s conviction for the first degree murder of a police officer and the attempted murder of a police officer, holding that the trial court, over defense objection, erroneously excused for cause a prospective juror based on his written response to questions about his view on capital punishment, requiring reversal of the penalty verdict. After finding that Defendant did not have an intellectual disability, and following a penalty trial, the jury returned a verdict of death. The trial court imposed a judgment of death after denying the automatic motion to modify the verdict. The court also imposed a prison sentence on the other counts for which Defendant was convicted and enhancement allegations. The Supreme Court held (1) the trial court erred in excusing a prospective juror based on his questionnaire responses, an error that automatically compelled reversal of the penalty phase; and (2) the trial court’s judgment is affirmed in all other respects. View "People v. Woodruff" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of an amended habeas petition under 28 U.S.C. 2254 as time-barred. Petitioner filed an amended habeas petition eight months after the statute of limitations under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA) had run. The panel held that the facts set out in the state court order were not clearly incorporated into petitioner's original petition, and Rule 2 of the Rules Governing Section 2254 Cases in the United States precluded the panel from construing the petition as incorporating such facts. Therefore, the district court did not err in concluding that the amended petition could not relate back to the claims in his original petition. View "Ross v. Williams" on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's complaint against his employer, the Customs and Border Protection Agency, alleging discrimination in violation of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. After plaintiff suffered multiple injuries on the job, he returned to work and was erroneously placed in a lesser-paying position. Although the agency quickly corrected the error, plaintiff filed suit for retaliation and disability discrimination. The district court dismissed the complaint for lack of jurisdiction based on the Federal Employees' Compensation Act. The court held that plaintiff waived his claim of retaliation on appeal when he failed to make arguments and cite authorities in support of his position. The court also held that the district court erred in ruling that it lacked jurisdiction where the statutory schemes of the Compensation Act and the Rehabilitation Act concerned different kinds of injuries and thus did not conflict. Therefore, the court could not avoid giving effect to both statutory schemes. Although the district court had jurisdiction to consider plaintiff's claim of disability discrimination, plaintiff failed to present evidence that the nondiscriminatory reasons offered by the agency were a pretext for discrimination. Therefore, the district court properly granted summary judgment as to the disability discrimination claim. View "Center v. Secretary, Department of Homeland Security" on Justia Law

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Defendant Robert Henley was convicted of first-degree sexual abuse and attempted first-degree sodomy, arising out of child sexual abuse allegations by his stepdaughter during a family camping trip. The issue his case posed for the Oregon Supreme Court's review was whether the expert testimony that the trial court allowed about “grooming” children for later sexual activity was “scientific” evidence that required a foundational showing of scientific validity under OEC 702. At trial, over defendant’s objection, the trial court permitted a forensic interviewer to testify about defendant’s behavior that may have constituted “grooming” of the victim for sexual abuse if defendant had the requisite intent, without the state first establishing that the testimony about grooming was scientifically valid and reliable. On defendant’s appeal, the Court of Appeals held that the testimony was not scientific evidence for which a foundation was required. The Supreme Court concluded that the testimony was scientific evidence and that the trial court erred in admitting it without a proper foundation. Given the record, the Court declined to decide the validity and reliability of the expert testimony on review. The Court also concluded that the admission of the testimony was not harmless. Therefore, the Court of Appeals and the trial court were reversed, and the case remanded back to the trial court for further proceedings. View "Oregon v. Henley" on Justia Law