United States v. Darrell Mark Babcock (11th Cir. May 2019)

The Court held that officers’ warrantless two-day seizure of the defendant’s cell phone, based on evidence the defendant had sexually exploited a minor, was not permissible under Terry but was justified by probable cause and exigent circumstances. The Court also held that the sentencing court did not engage in double-counting by enhancing the defendant’s offense level for conduct involving a visual depiction of sexual acts and engaging in a pattern of prohibited sexual activities.

Willie B. Smith, III v. Commissioner (11th Cir. May 2019)

The Court affirmed the district court’s denial of the defendant’s habeas petition under § 2254. The defendant failed to show that the state court’s denial of Atkins claim of ineligibility for the death penalty due to intellectual disability or denial of his Batson claim were contrary to clearly established law or constituted an unreasonable determination of the facts. The Court also held that the requirement in Moore v. Texas that state courts consider prevailing medical standards in adjudicating Atkins claims was not retroactive under Teague.

Rickey Thompson v. United States (11th Cir. May 2019)

The Court affirmed the district court’s denial of the defendant’s second § 2255 motion, holding that the defendant’s federal second-degree murder offenses, based on pointing a firearm at boat passengers and throwing them overboard, was a “crime of violence” under § 924(c)’s residual and elements clause.

United States v. Isabel Yero Grimon (11th Cir. May 2019)

The Court affirmed the defendant’s conviction for possessing unauthorized access devices affecting interstate commerce, holding that the district court retained jurisdiction despite the guilty plea lacking a factual basis explaining how the defendant’s conduct affected interstate commerce. A district court’s jurisdiction is invoked by an indictment sufficiently alleging a federal offense, while an offense’s “jurisdictional element” only reflects Congress’s power to regulate or prohibit the conduct at issue.

United States v. David Rothenberg (11th Cir. May 2019)

The Court affirmed a restitution order under § 2259 as to 8 of 9 child pornography victims, holding that the district court was not required to disaggregate the victims’ losses among the abusers, producers, distributors, and possessors of the images before determining an individual defendant’s restitution obligation. The Court held that the court sufficiently considered proximate causation and the defendant’s relative role as a possessor. The Court also held that one victim had not provided any evidence regarding her losses or the defendant’s causal relationship to those losses.
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