United States v. Inman (6th Cir. July 2022)

The Federal Docket

July 26, 2022

Larry Inman was charged with extortion, soliciting a bribe, and making false statements to the FBI based on allegations that he had solicited campaign contributions in exchange for his vote while he was an elected member of the Michigan House of Representatives. After his trial, the jury acquitted Inman of the false statement charge and hung on the remaining counts. After briefing by both parties on the issue, the district court then dismissed the last two counts, stating that the Government was collaterally estopped from retrying them based on the acquittal. The Government appealed.

Reviewing the case de novo, the Sixth Circuit reversed. On the facts as presented, a rational jury could have believed that Inman did not lie to the FBI when he denied making the extortionist statements at issue and still believed he made the statements. Testimony about Inman’s drug and alcohol use made it sufficiently probable that he could have forgotten. Since lying to the FBI is also not an essential element of either extortion of the solicitation of bribes, the Court concluded that issue preclusion did not apply here.

Appeal from the Western District of Michigan
Opinion by Bush, joined by Batchelder and White

Click here to read the opinion

Tom Church - Tom is a trial and appellate lawyer focusing on criminal defense and civil trials. Tom is the author of "The Federal Docket" and is a contributor to Mercer Law Review's Annual Survey in the areas of federal sentencing guidelines and criminal law. Tom graduated with honors from the University of Georgia Law School where he served as a research assistant to the faculty in the areas of constitutional law and civil rights litigation. Read Tom's reviews on AVVO. Follow Tom on Linkedin.

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