Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Friday, April 10, 2015

Alexander: Affirming conviction for selling cutting machines to Iran companies

In U.S. v. Alexander, No. 14-10253 (April 7, 2015), the Court affirmed a conviction for conspiring to sell cutting machines to companies in Iran, in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, 50 U.S.C. § 1705. The Court found that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying Alexander’s request to take the deposition of a witness whose proposed testimony was “immaterial or cumulative.” In addition, one profered statement would have hearsay. And the witness was a fugitive from justice. The Court also found that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying a motion for a mistrial after a juror complained that supporters of the defendant momentarily blocked her car in the parking lot. No one communicated with the juror, and the district court instructed the jury that there was no certainty who the people were, or had anything to do with the trial. The jury affirmed that they could remain impartial. Finally, the district court did not error when it explained to the jury, during the testimony of a witness, the legal standard for conspiracy, because the district court was not commenting on the evidence but clarifying the law. The district court also did not err when it explained the limited purpose of admitting testimony – credibility of witnesses – about a “feud” between Alexander and his business partners.