- Facts: The “Special Investigations” unit of the White House, which E was the general supervisor, conducted an illegal search and seizure of a Dr. Fielding’s office. E was convicted of a 241 violation.
- Issue: What constitutes a “good faith” defense to the specific intent of 241?
- The offender must act with a specific intent to interfere with the federal rights in question… generally there is no requirement that the conspirator know those acts to be unlawful; a mistake as to the legality of the prohibited activity therefore is no defense.
- The Screws case imposed a two part test for specific intent:
- Is the constitutional right at issue clearly delineated and plainly applicable under the circumstance of the case? If the trial concludes that it is then, the jury is asked,
- Did the defendant commit the act in question with the particular purpose of depriving the citizen victim of his enjoyment of the interests protected by that federal right?
- The court held that the fourth amendment’s right to be free from search and seizure is clearly delineated, and in this case they performed the search without a warrant, so they “willfully” deprived him of his constitutionally protected rights, so they had a specific intent.
Friday, September 14, 2012
United States v. Ehrlichman case brief
United States v. Ehrlichman
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