United States v Kupfer

Kupfer appealed her convictions for tax evasion and her sentence. The panela affirmed. It held there was no error in declining to charge the jury that willful conduct is not negligent or reckless as the jury charge correctly stated the law and Kupfer was allowed to argue her defense of lack of willful violation. The panel held that the district court did not err in declining to hold a hearing on alleged juror misconduct as the relevant evidence had been presented by affidavit and there was no error in denying the motion for mistrial as the alleged misconduct of mentioning extraneous material by one juror was harmless given the overwhelming evidence of evasion. The court finally vacated Kupfer’s sentence holding failure to report one’s crime cannot be the basis for an obstruction of justice enhancement under the guidelines.

Andalex Resources, Inc. v Mine Safety and Health Administration

Andalex appealed Administration’s decision to revoke modifications to certain safety regulations based on the cessation of operations at the mines. The panel affirmed. It held Administration’s decision to apply the standards set out in its handbook was due great deference and the finding that the closing of the mines and no plans to reopen was a change in circumstances sufficient to justify revoke modifications.

Owens v Trammel

Owns petitioned for habeas relief arguing trying him for felony murder after being acquitted of the underlying felony violated double jeopardy protection. The district court denied his petition and the panel affirmed. It held that Owen did not preserve his argument that the felony acquittal and felony murder convictions were consistent by failing to raise it until this appeal and in any event the Supreme Court has not adopted a rule to determine when verdict are inconsistent and thus habeas relief is not available on this issue. It also held that given the state finding of inconsistent verdicts, collateral estoppel did not apply and given the reversal of the murder conviction on jury instruction grounds, Owens was only in jeopardy once.