Controversial Weinstein Ruling Overturned:
Last year, I had a series of very critical posts about Judge Jack Weinstein's opinion United States v. Polizzi, in which Judge Weinstein gave the defendant a new trial in light of his own prior decision not to instruct the jury about the mandatory minimum sentences that would be applied. Today the Second Circuit reversed Judge Weinstein on this issue in an opinion by Judge Katzmann:
[W]e do not conclude, as the government urges, that a district court may never instruct the jury on an applicable mandatory minimum sentence. Rather, without deciding whether it would have been within the district court's discretion to instruct the jury on the applicable mandatory minimum sentence in this case, we find that the district court acted beyond its proper discretion when it ordered a new trial at which the jury would be instructed on the applicable mandatory minimum. The court submitted the case to the jury without instructing the jury on the mandatory minimum sentence, a course that was certainly within its discretion and the jury rendered a verdict upon the error-free trial. Absent a strong justification for redoing a properly conducted trial, the interests of finality, as well as respect for the jury's verdict, counsel against requiring retrial.Thanks to Howard for the link.