Tuesday, December 24, 2013

United States v. Neumann case brief

United States v. Neumann case brief summary
887 F.2d 880 (1989)

Appellant challenged the decision of the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, which convicted him for conviction for bank robbery by the use of a dangerous weapon in violation of 18 U.S.C.S. §§ 2113(a) and (d), and use of a firearm during the robbery in violation of 18 U.S.C.S. § 924(c)(1).

Appellant contended that his not guilty plea put each element of the charged offenses at issue, and therefore it was improper for the judge to comment that apart from identity, the requirements of each offense seemed to be satisfied.


  • The court held however that in the context of the complete jury charge and of the evidence, comments did not constitute plain error as they were a fair summary of the evidence, and did not relieve the jury of its duty to find that each element of the charged offenses was satisfied. 
  • Appellant also claimed error in the jury instruction on possession of recently stolen property.
  • The court found no reversible error in the instruction as it was primarily directed to possession of the cash and the jury could have reasonably concluded that a rifle stolen by appellant was used in the robbery. 
  • Appellant argued that warrant language was overbroad and resulted in seizure of property having no previously established connection to the offense under investigation. 
  • The court declined to review the challenge to the warrant, as appellant's pretrial suppression motion did not encompass the ground for suppression argued on appeal.

The conviction was affirmed.

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