Good enough for government work? Not quite. Evidence matters. But the right kind of evidence matters. And in order to convict someone of a crime in the United States of America the government has the burden to prove their case of each and every element of each and every crime beyond a reasonable doubt. In a recent case (United States v. Chatman), the 10th Circuit of the United States heard and decided a significant case where the Court found that the crime charged didn’t match the actions proven, and remanded the case to the lower court. In March 2020, the 10th Circuit Court found that that the evidence the government presented at trial was insufficient to convict the defendant of obstruction of justice by attempting to kill a witness. The Court held that the government failed to prove the defendant had the intent to prevent the victim from communicating with a federal law enforcement officer about the commission of a federal crime. In this case the facts are as follows: the defendant was inside a van. The officers wanted the defendant to exit the van. The defendant was a felon and possessed a firearm. The defendant urged officers to shoot the defendant. Officers obliged by shooting pellets at the defendant. The defendant then returned fire, hitting an officer. The Court found that the facts proven didn’t fit the statute provided. In this case the officer wasn’t a witness or an informant, the type of person who may communicate with an officer about the commission of a federal crime. As a result, the Court held,“We will not uphold a conviction that was obtained by nothing more than piling inference upon inference or where the evidence raises no more than a mere suspicion of guilt. A jury will not be allowed to engage in a degree of speculation and conjecture that renders its finding a guess or mere possibility.” When facing serious criminal charges, contact the attorneys at Mack & Associates, LLC at 785-856-2228 or www.criminaldefensekansas.com immediately. You deserve legal representation who passionately fight for your rights and hold the government to their burden of proof and exploit the government when they fail.
These articles are for general informational use and do not constitute legal advice. Since laws change over time, it’s possible some articles are out of date and for that reason, we make no representation that the articles are fully accurate. For actual, up-to-date legal advice (including a free consultation), please contact us!