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Criminal Law

CAV: Sentence enhancement for federal conviction improper (access required)

The trial court erred in finding that the federal statute underlying the defendant’s prior conviction for felony possession of a firearm was substantially similar to the state law under which the defendant was most recently convicted. Because the federal law ...

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EDVA: Child porn prosecution too reliant on propensity (access required)

The government effectively relied entirely on propensity evidence to support charges of receipt and distribution of child pornography, without reasonably connecting such evidence to actual photos and videos found on the defendant’s computer. A judgment of acquittal, or alternatively a ...

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4th Cir.: State drug convictions defeated court’s jurisdiction (access required)

An immigrant’s conviction for unlawful possession of marijuana with intent to manufacture, deliver, or sell constitutes a conviction of both an aggravated felony and a crime involving moral turpitude. Therefore, the court lacks jurisdiction to review the Board’s rulings on ...

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CAV: Real perpetrator’s confession supports actual innocence (access required)

The court of appeals granted two petitions for writs of actual innocence, based on another person’s confession to both robberies for which the petitioner was convicted. Background In 2007, Petitioner Gary Bush was convicted in the City of Petersburg Circuit ...

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4th Cir.: Flight to Thailand didn’t show “responsibility” (access required)

The district court did not err in declining to reduce the defendant’s sentence on grounds that he accepted responsibility for his offenses, since he fled the country before his initial sentencing hearing. However, the defendant should have been granted leave ...

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Va. Cir.: Firearms charges were distinct, not double jeopardy (access required)

The defendant’s conviction for possession of a weapon by a violent felon did not violate his rights under the Double Jeopardy Clause, notwithstanding his previous acquittal by jury of the separate offenses of use of a firearm in the commission ...

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