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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides one Indiana case today

In US v. Brazelton (ND Ind., Judge Miller), a 10-page opinion, Judge Coffey writes:

Appellant Brazelton argues that his conviction should be set aside, arguing that one of the jurors seated was related to the victim in the shooting that led to Brazelton’s arrest and the search of his home. He makes this argument even though the victim did not testify and his name was not mentioned again after it was mentioned at voir dire. More importantly, though, Brazelton waived the issue raised for argument at trial even though he was aware of the juror's relationship at voir dire, and told the judge during the juror selection process that he did not want the juror to be struck for cause.

Brazelton also claims, and the government concedes, that he should be resentenced in light of Kimbrough v. United States, 128 S. Ct. 558 (2007) because the district court followed the then-governing case law rejecting Brazelton’s argument that the court had discretion to impose a below-guidelines sentence based on a disagreement with the crack-powder ratio. We agree and remand for resentencing and we affirm Brazelton’s conviction. * * *

In this circuit, there is no ambiguity on the question whether the right to an impartial jury can be waived. We have held that “[t]he Sixth Amendment right to an impartial jury, like any constitutional right, may be waived.”

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 3, 2009 01:58 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions