Sixth Amendment

United States v. Burwell, et al. -- Issues

1. Whether Appellants were deprived of their Sixth Amendment right to an impartial jury because the Trial Court, over objection, erroneously permitted the government to introduce a vast array of evidence of uncharged violent crimes the jury could not have concluded by a preponderance of evidence they committed, that were neither similar to nor related to the charged offenses, and were far more prejudicial than probative of any issue in this case?

2. Whether, due to misinterpretation of evidence rules, the Trial Court deprived Appellants of their right to confront government witnesses and to present a complete defense by excluding evidence of uncharged crimes by a key cooperating codefendant, where counsel had a good faith basis for their questions; from the proffered evidence jurors could conclude that the witness committed the crimes; the uncharged conduct was evidence of the witness’s bias and motive to implicate Appellants, rather than other, closer associates; and the proffered evidence was substantially more probative than prejudicial?

United States v. Burwell, et al., No. 06-3070

United States v. Burwell, et al., No. 06-3070 — Appellants charged with RICO conspiracy, conspiracy to commit armed bank robbery, four armed bank robberies, two armed assaults with intent to kill. Appellants challenged the Trial Court's rulings on the admissibility of evidence of their alleged other crimes and bad acts, and exclusion of similar evidence they proffered regarding the government's star cooperating codefendant. Individual appellants argued that the Judge erred by denying severance motions, by failing to limit government interference with final argument, and that tere was insufficient evidence to convict them.

Bonilla v. United States

Bonilla v. United States, No. 98-CF-212, 06-CO-1164 -- In first-degree murder case prosecutor used grand jury subpoenaes to require potential witnesses to appear in his office repeatedlyfor interviews, attempted to coerce them to provide information supporting the government's theory of the case He only took before the grand jury those who eventually changed their accounts to conform to the government's theory. Although several of those witnesses gave statements which were exculpatory and others impeached government witnesses, the prosecutor withheld them until witnesses testified at trial, preventing defense counsel from investigating and calling witnesses. In the middle of trial the Judge allowed a government witness to testify about a codefendant's admission that he and another defendant argued over who would use a knife in the fatal attack. Although the statement did not directly implicate Bonilla, the argument occurred in the back seat of Bonilla's car. The argument was inadmissible against Bonila, but it was the only evidence that he knew his passengers were armed.

Riley v. United States -- Issues

1. Whether, after formal charges were filed and Appellant asserted his Sixth Amendment right to counsel, police violated that right by reinitiating interrogation several times over a 12-hour period without counsel present, and eventually obtained a written confession which was placed in evidence at trial?
2. Whether the Trial Court violated Appellant’s Fifth Amendment privilege against selfincrimination by admitting into evidence at trial a confession obtained in lengthy custodial interrogation, where police coerced Appellant to waive his right to counsel and right to remain silent?

Palacio v. United States -- Issues

1. Whether the Trial Court lacked jurisdiction to try Appellant as an adult because the counts in the indictment charging assault with intent to murder while armed were defective in that they failed to inform Appellant of the nature of the charges against him, and did not demonstrate that the Grand Jury found essential elements of the offense —malicious intent to kill and the absence of justification, excuse or mitigation, and therefore his conviction must be vacated?
2. Whether Appellant’s conviction for aggravated assault while armed on David Rodriguez must be vacated because the government failed to produce any evidence that he suffered serious bodily injury as a result of the stab wounds he sustained?
3. Whether, in the absence of evidence that Appellant had any direct contact with Omar Gonzales, Appellant’s conviction for assault with a dangerous weapon on Gonzales must be vacated because the government failed to produce evidence that Appellant aided and abetted the assault?

Upshur v. United States -- Issues

1. Whether police had probable cause to arrest Appellant, or even articulable suspicion to stop him, when they seized him and began searching for evidence of a crime, in light of the fact that they had observed only a one-way exchange of currency and saw nothing prior to the seizure tending to indicate that he possessed either narcotics or a weapon?
2. Whether Mr. Upshur was entitled to a jury trial because the crime of possession of crack cocaine is not a “petty” crime and, even if he was not entitled to a jury trial, whether the Trial Court’s actions in the evidence suppression hearing: demonstrating favoritism toward the prosecution, assuming facts favorable to the Government that were not in evidence, refusing to consider evidence contradictory to testimony of the sole government witness, and noting the superior credibility of that witness prior to trial, denied Appellant a fair trial by an impartial adjudicator in violation of the Sixth Amendment and the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment?

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