A decision was recently reached in an interesting criminal harassment case surrounding politics and freedom of speech. The case of the Commonwealth vs. Harvey J. Bigelow made it all the way to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
This article first appeared in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, April 9, 2015.
A federal judicial panel recently adopted new guidelines for sentencing white-collar defendants in fraud cases, in an effort to make punishments more fairly reflect the harm suffered by victims and the intent of offenders to cause harm. The changes approved by the U.S. Sentencing Commission will take effect on Nov. 1, 2015, subject to Congressional approval.
According to the AP, U.S. District Judge Andrew L. Carter Jr. notified attorneys of his plans on Thursday that he's leaning toward tossing out four guilty pleas in an insider-trading case, the latest fallout from a recent appeals court ruling criticizing prosecutors' tactics.
In a 28-page decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan overturned two of the government's signature convictions, the case against the former hedge fund traders Todd Newman and Anthony Chiasson, who were tried together. Citing the trial judge's "erroneous" instructions to jurors, the court not only reversed the convictions but threw out the case altogether.