Wednesday, August 22, 2012

U.S. v. Place

Aug 21: In the U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit, Case No. 11-1246. Appealed from the U.S. District Court Massachusetts, Boston. David L. Place appeals his convictions for illegally trafficking in sperm whale teeth and narwhal tusks. Specifically, a jury found that Place's whale-tooth dealings violated CITES, the international compact implemented in the United States via the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and regulations authorized by the ESA. But Place says the district judge should have instructed the jury on certain lesser-included offenses because he did not actually know his transactions were illegal, even if he should have known. He also says his smuggling convictions are legally wrong because his conduct violated only regulations, not statutes. The Appeals Court said it disagreed "with both lines of argument" and affirmed the convictions.
    The Appeals Court concluded, "Place was charged, fairly tried, and properly convicted for knowingly flouting these laws and the regulations implementing them. Rejecting his arguments on appeal for the reasons set forth above, we now affirm these convictions in full."
    Access the complete opinion (click here). [#Wildlife, #CA1]
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