Sunday, November 17, 2013

United States v. Payan case brief

United States v. Payan case brief summary
992 F.2d 1387 (1993)

Appellant challenged a judgment from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, which convicted him on 1 count of conspiracy to transport stolen goods in interstate and foreign commerce, and 11 counts of transportation of stolen goods in interstate and foreign commerce, in violation of 18 U.S.C.S. §§ 2, 2314. He also appealed his resulting sentence.

Appellant exported stolen farm equipment from the United States and sold it in Mexico. Appellant first contended that either the Wharton Rule or the Double Jeopardy Clause of the U.S. Constitutional Amendment V was violated by his conviction on both the conspiracy and the underlying substantive counts.

The court held that separate sentences could be imposed for the conspiracy to do an act and for the subsequent accomplishment of that end.


  • Wharton's Rule applied only to offenses that required concerted criminal activity. 
  • Here, it was possible for appellant to transport stolen goods alone. 
  • Double Jeopardy also did not apply because each offense required proof of an additional fact that the other did not. 
  • Appellant also contended that the district court erred in not declaring a mistrial after a witness referred to an out-of-court statement made by a non-testifying codefendant. 
  • Here, the statement at most incriminated appellant by contextual implication and the judge's curative instruction to the jury was sufficient. 
  • Finally, the court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in ordering restitution and did not improperly condition his release to supervision on his payment.

The court affirmed appellant's criminal conviction, finding no reversible errors. The court agreed with the district court's holding that the Wharton Rule and double jeopardy principles did not preclude appellant's conviction for both the interstate transportation of stolen goods and the conspiracy to commit the same offense.

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