Todays Date: Click here to add this website to your favorites
  rss
Legal News Search >>>
law firm web design
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
D.C.
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Mass.
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
N.Carolina
N.Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
S.Carolina
S.Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
W.Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming


Once annually, sometimes less, the full federal appeals court in New York meets to confront a perplexing legal question. Most recently, it was to decide whether shooting somebody point-blank in the face and stabbing somebody to death are violent acts.

The 14 judges of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan who heard arguments in U.S. v. Gerald Scott were left to decide how to label the 1998 killings that they agreed were “undoubtedly brutal.”

Ultimately, the full court voted 9-to-5 this week to conclude that Scott’s crimes were indeed violent. But their votes came with a robust debate over a legal puzzle that has vexed multiple federal courts ? even if, they agreed, the answer might seem like common sense.

A lower-court judge had decided that Scott’s convictions' on manslaughter charges ? meant he had not been convicted of a violent crime. He was freed after serving just over 11 years of a 22-year sentence.

The decision did not shock judges who considered the appeal in November in a unique gathering known as an “en banc” meeting of the full 2nd Circuit.

That’s because two laws at stake ? the Armed Career Criminal Act and the Career Offender Sentencing Guideline ? do not define a violent crime by what the defendant actually did. Instead, the crime is defined by the minimum acts someone might have committed and still been convicted of the offense.

In Scott’s case, the lower court judge concluded that manslaughter can be a crime of omission in which no force is used ? if somebody fails to feed someone who dies of starvation or fails to tell someone that their food is poisoned, for example.

A three-judge 2nd Circuit panel later agreed, prompting federal prosecutors to seek the rare full-court proceeding to try to overturn the appeals finding.

The issue had been confronted before in at least two other “en banc” proceedings nationwide and by numerous judges in other court hearings. Still, in various opinions issued Tuesday, the judges in Scott’s case allowed that the question might sound odd to a layperson.



Law Promo's specialty is law firm web site design. Professional Law Firm Website Redesign by Law Promo

ⓒ Legal News Post - All Rights Reserved.

The content contained on the web site has been prepared by Legal News Post
as a service to the internet community and is not intended to constitute legal advice or
a substitute for consultation with a licensed legal professional in a particular case or circumstance.