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Criminal Law & Procedure

[12/14] Blakely v. Wards
A prisoner's motion for reconsideration of a denial of his attempt to proceed in forma pauperis, claiming that his prior actions dismissed as "frivolous, malicious, or failing to state a claim" cannot count as strikes under section 1915(g) because the dismissals occurred at summary judgment, is denied where: 1) the fact that an action was dismissed as frivolous, malicious, or failing to state a claim, and not the case's procedural posture at dismissal, determines whether the dismissal constitutes a strike under section 1915(g); and 2) petitioner has had more than three prior cases dismissed expressly as frivolous, malicious, or failing to state a claim.

[12/14] US v. Carpio-Leon
A Mexican citizen's conviction for possessing firearms while being illegally or unlawfully in the United States is affirmed where: 1) the scope of the Second Amendment does not extend to provide protection to illegal aliens, because illegal aliens are not law-abiding members of the political community and aliens who have entered the United States unlawfully have no more rights under the Second Amendment than do aliens outside of the United States seeking admittance; and 2) defendant's Fifth Amendment challenge fails because prohibiting illegal aliens, as a class, from possessing firearms is rationally related to Congress's legitimate interest in public safety.

[12/14] US v. Powers
Defendant's convictions for conspiracy to defraud the United States by impeding the functions of the Internal Revenue Service and mail fraud is affirmed where: 1) district court properly refused to give advice-of-counsel instruction where this defense is not available to one who omits to disclose material information to advisors or dictates imprudent outcomes to advisors; and 2) defendants' claim that various witnesses were allowed to testify as to the ultimate issues, invading the role of the jury, is without merit.

[12/14] US v. Burgos
Defendant's conviction for conspiring to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute marijuana is reversed and remanded for an acquittal where the government did not meet its burden of proof with respect to the second element of the charged conspiracy.

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