Friday, December 12, 2008

Brady Contentions in Entrapment Case Rejected

US v. Ford, 2008 WL 5173125 (10th Cir. Dec. 11, 2008) (published): Defendant was convicted of illegally selling or possessing a machine gun. At trial, his primary defense was entrapment. The defendant, a firefighter with no criminal history, contended that he sold the firearms to the informant after beiing pressured by the CI. He was acquitted of two counts and convicted of only the third. After trial, he filed a motion to set aside the conviction, alleging that the government had failed to disclose e-mails sent between him and the informant and thereby violated Brady. The district court agreed that three undisclosed e-mails existed and they were favorable, but denied the motion on the grounds that, in light of all the evidence, the e-mails were not sufficiently material to cast doubt on the guilty verdict. Judges Tymkovich and Parker agreed, upholding the district court's decision. Judge Gorsuch, however, dissented, arguing that the other two judges failed to consider the significant evidence in the record that supported the defendant's defense. He would therefore conclude that the e-mail was material and Mr. Ford should receive a new trial.