Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Monday, November 28, 2016

Error in verdict form merely clerical

In U.S. v. Davis, No. 15-10927 (Nov. 22, 2016), the Court rejected the argument that the trial court erred when it amended the judgments to change a count of conviction from “Robbery” in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c), to possession of a firearm during a crime of violence in violation of § 924(c). The Court noted that the error in the initial judgment arose out of a mistake in the jury’s verdict form. However, the indictment, the parties’ closing arguments, the jury instructions, and the jury’s questions during deliberations indicate that it understood that the charge in this count was not “robbery,” but a § 924(c) firearm violation. Moreover, the overwhelming evidence in the case supported this conviction. The jury “inescapably” found that the defendants “used a gun.” The error in the verdict form was merely clerical.