Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Orisnord: Fleeing is a "Crime of Violence"

In U.S. v. Orisnord, No. 05-14659 (Apr. 11, 2007), the Court rejected challenges to the sufficiency of the evidence by defendants convicted of charges arising out of a staged home invasion robbery of drugs. As to one defendant, the Court accepted, without elaboration, the government’s concession that the evidence was insufficient only as to the firearms convictions.
The Court rejected the argument that the Confrontation Clause was violated when the court did not permit additional questioning of an ATF agent regarding his tactical methods. The court found that the questioning which was permitted sufficed to assess the agent’s credibility.
The Court further affirmed the denial of requests to conduct post-verdict interviews of specific jurors regarding juror impropriety. The Court found that the improprieties at issue did not warrant further inquiry.
Turning to the sentences, the Court held that the crime of fleeing and eluding law enforcement officers qualified as a "crime of violence" for purposes of the career offender sentence enhancement provisions of the guidelines. Noting the "serious potential risk" posed by fleeing law enforcement, the Court joined several other circuits (except the Ninth) to hold that fleeing constitutes a "crime of violence." Finally, the Court found the 420-month sentences "reasonable."