Following a jury trial, Jasmine Perry and her nine co-defendants were convicted of various RICO, drug, and firearms conspiracy charges as well as with charges arising from nine separate incidents of assault and/or murder. After ruling against the defendants on all the other many claims in their consolidated appeal, the Fifth Circuit vacated most of their convictions under 18 U.S.C. § 924 and remanded for resentencing.
Over defense objection, the trial court had instructed the jury that it could find the defendants guilty of those charges if they used or carried a firearm in relation to either the “crime of violence” charged by their RICO conspiracy count or the drug trafficking crime charged. Since the Fifth Circuit’s precedent in McClaren made it clear that the RICO conspiracy count could not be considered a “crime of violence” in this context, however, it was plain error for the district court to make such a charge.
Appeal from the Eastern District of Louisiana
Opinion by Higginson, joined by Jones and Duncan
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