It's a slow week here in the federal circuit courts, at least for people accused of a crime who won their cases - only three cases were reversed in the federal court of appeals in published opinions last week.
Happily, what last week's opinions lost in quantity they made up in quality.
Judge Posner weighed in on restitution in child porn cases. Always a fun writer to read.
In other child pornography news, the First Circuit reversed and remanded in a Confrontation Clause case. If you have a Confrontation Clause case on appeal, you should read United States v. Cameron.
Finally, the Tenth Circuit reversed a sentence because the defendant was denied a right to allocute. We've seen this issue before, and, frankly, I find it bizarre that district court's don't get this right every time.
If you're traveling this week, be safe. And remember, take the turkey out of the wrapper before you cook it.
To the victories!
1. United States v. Laraneta, Seventh Circuit (Posner, J.): In child pornography case, the restitution award to two women, pornographic images of whom were found in appellant's possession, required remand for the district court to determine (1) how much to subtract from one of the victim's losses to reflect payment of restitution that she has received in other cases, and (2) whether appellant uploaded any of the victims' images. Additionally, the district court erred in ruling that appellant's liability for restitution was joint and several, as appellant was the sole defendant in this case and could not seek contribution from others.
2. United States v. Cameron, First Circuit: Appellant was convicted of 13 crimes involving child pornography. Because the admission of certain reports violated appellant's Confrontation Clause rights, and because these errors were not harmless with respect to six of the offenses, appellant's convictions for the six offenses were reversed and his sentences vacated.
3.United States v. Castillo, Tenth Circuit: In felon in possession of a firearm case, the district court violated appellant's right of allocution when it failed to allow him a meaningful opportunity to speak on his own behalf before the imposition of his 28-month sentence. Consequently, the case was remanded to the district court with directions to vacate appellant's sentence and for resentencing.