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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides two Indiana cases today

In US v. Zaragoza (SD Ind., Judge Barker), a 14-page opinion, Judge Manion writes:

Rafael Zaragoza was charged, along with ten co-defendants, with conspiring to possess methamphetamine (“meth”) with the intent to distribute it. Following a four-day trial at which a number of Zaragoza’s co-defendants testified against him, the jury returned a verdict of guilty, and he was eventually sentenced to a term of 300 months’ imprisonment. Zaragoza appeals. While he does not deny dealing meth, he argues that there was insufficient evidence to support the jury’s finding that he engaged in a conspiracy with his co-defendants to do so. Zaragoza also asserts that he had difficulty understanding the proceedings against him, and that his due process rights were violated when the district court failed to make an inquiry regarding this fact after being alerted to it. We affirm.
In US v. LeShore (ND Ind., Judge Springmann), a 14-page opinion, Judge Wood writes:
This case illustrates the importance of the standard of review that an appellate court applies to asserted trial error. When an appellant wants to complain about an error for the first time on appeal, we ordinarily require the complaining party to demonstrate plain error. See FED. R. CRIM. P. 52(b). If the challenged ruling is one that we would have reviewed only for abuse of discretion if a proper complaint had been made in the district court, the appellant’s job is especially difficult. That, in a nutshell, is the burden that appellant James LeShore has shouldered here. Finding no reversible error, we affirm his conviction and sentence for bank robbery.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 11, 2008 01:54 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions