Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Monday, June 16, 2014

Folk: Affirming Felon in Possession conviction

In U.S. v. Folk, No 12-15126 (June 12, 2014), the Court affirmed a conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g). The Court did not address Folk’s argument that the firearms found in his residence fell outside the scope of the warrant because it sustained the seizure of the firearms on the alternative ground that the firearms were in plain view during a SWAT team’s protective sweep of a home during a search for narcotics. The Court also rejected Folk’s Batson challenge to the government’s peremptory strike of an African-American juror, crediting the trial court’s finding that the government has a “sincere” reason for striking the juror from the pool, namely that the prosecutor had trouble hearing the juror’s answers, and the jury had a friend who was on multiple years’ probation. Finally, the Court rejected Folk’s challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence of possession, pointing out that Folk routinely used the firearm to go hunting, and continued to assert his ownership of the firearm during conversations from jail.