US v. Maldonado-Garcia, No. 04-2674 uses a bunch of words to confuse the audience. This indicates that it 1) it was written by Judge Selya; and 2) Judge Selya thinks that advocates should use these words to judges and juries, as they are effective tools of oral and written communication. I presume that he will be teaching these to his students. Not surprisingly, the defendant loses (after a second trial – the first one hung), but I know that he will appreciate Selya’s use of the thesaurus and superior upbringing.
Anyway, a gun was present in a truck that the defendant was . He claims that this isn’t enough to show possession. But get this. “This claim suffers from a self-inflicted wound: the appellant failed to renew his Rule 29 motion either at the close of all the evidence or following the jury verdict. See Fed. R. Crim. P. 29. These omissions combine to constitute a waiver of the appellant's earlier Rule 29 motion.” Ha ha! Sucks to be him! Anyway, on sort-of-plain error review, the court concludes that the verdict wasn’t irrational.
The District Court admitted evidence regrading a the violent death of someone that rented the truck where the defendant was found, but on the facts the court finds that this wasn’t irrelevant or overly prejudicial, and, besides, the defendant could have developed his theory of the case.
The defendant files a pro se brief, in which he argues that the sentencing guidelines are completely, invalid, but the First doesn’t even take the issue seriously. (Even if there are questions regrading the validity of the new constitution of the commission. See United States v. Detwiler, CR 03-372-PA (D. Or. Oct. 5, 2004) (and SL&P's coverage here).)