Tuesday, November 5, 2013

United States v. Rodriguez-Moreno case brief

United States v. Rodriguez-Moreno case brief summary
526 U.S. 275 (1999)

Government petitioned for certiorari to review a decision of the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which reversed defendant's conviction under 18 U.S.C.S. § 924(c)(1), and determined that a violation of the statute was committed only in the district where a defendant used or carried a firearm.

Defendant was convicted for conspiring to kidnap, kidnapping, and using and carrying a firearm in relation to the kidnapping, in violation of 18 U.S.C.S. § 924(c)(1). At the CONCLUSION of the government's case, defendant moved to dismiss the 18 U.S.C.S. § 924(c)(1) count for lack of venue, arguing that venue was proper only in Maryland, the only place where the government had proven he had actually used a gun. The district court denied the motion, and defendant appealed. The appellate court reversed for lack of venue. The government petitioned for certiorari.

  • The Court reversed the appellate court, finding that the underlying offense, kidnapping, was committed in all of the places that any part of it took place, and venue for the kidnapping charge against respondent was appropriate in any of them pursuant to 18 U.S.C.S. § 3237(a). 
  • Therefore, venue was also proper for the firearm offense.

Judgment reversing the denial of defendant's motion to dismiss for lack of venire was reversed because defendant could be convicted for using or carrying a firearm in the commission of a violent crime under 18 U.S.C.S. § 924(c)(1), even in a jurisdiction where he had not possessed a firearm, because venue was proper in any district in which the underlying violent crime took place.

Recommended Supplements for Criminal Procedure Criminal Procedure: Examples & Explanations, Sixth Edition
Emanuel Law Outline: Criminal Procedure

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