Monday, December 23, 2013

United States v. Emond case brief

United States v. Emond case brief summary
935 F.2d 1511 (1991)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Appellant husband was convicted of tax evasion and other crimes and appellant wife was convicted of tax evasion in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Appellant husband argued that his case and that of a co-defendant should have been severed and the evidence was insufficient for his convictions, and both appellants argued that their tax evasion trial should have been severed from a trial on the other counts.

CASE FACTS
Appellant husband was convicted of tax evasion and other crimes and appellant wife was convicted of tax evasion in a district court.

DISCUSSION

  • On appeal, the court held that, because appellant husband had not shown that a co-defendant's defense was sufficiently developed or sufficiently antagonistic to warrant a severance, the district court did not abuse its discretion in concluding that no severance was required. 
  • The court held that the evidence against appellant husband was sufficient for his convictions because reasonable jurors could have concluded from the evidence that he intended to defraud a county by means of the mailings charged in the indictment. 
  • Rational jurors could have inferred from the evidence that he maintained a dummy corporation as part of an intentional scheme to defraud. 
  • The court held that, in denying appellant wife's motion to sever, the district court approached the outer limits of its discretion. 
  • Nevertheless, because the court presumed that the jury was able to compartmentalize the evidence against appellant wife, the court did not reverse her convictions, despite the court's discomfort with the severance ruling that allowed her joint trial. 
  • The court affirmed.

CONCLUSION
The court affirmed. Appellant husband did not show that a co-defendant's defense was sufficiently developed or sufficiently antagonistic to warrant severance, so there was no abuse of discretion in denying severance. The evidence against appellant husband was sufficient for his convictions. The court presumed that the jury was able to compartmentalize the evidence against appellant wife.


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