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Media Alerts - United States v. Bellaizac-Hurtado - 11th Circuit
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December 5, 2012
  United States v. Bellaizac-Hurtado - 11th Circuit
Headline: Eleventh Circuit finds that drug trafficking is not an "Offence[] against the Law of Nations" under the Offences Clause.

Area of Law: Criminal/Constitutional

Issue(s) Presented: Whether the district court committed various legal errors in connection with defendant's trial and sentencing.

Brief Summary: Several individuals were convicted on drug charges brought pursuant to the Maritime Drug Law Enforcement Act. The charges arose from the discovery of cocaine in a fishing boat the defendants were operating in the territorial waters of Panama. On appeal, the Eleventh Circuit found that under the Offences Clause, Congress had the power to punish violations of customary international law and drug trafficking was not such a violation. Therefore, Congress had exceeded its power under the Constitution and the court vacated the defendant's convictions.

Argument (if known): 8/31/2012

Date of Issued Opinion: 11/6/2012

Docket Number: 10-3916-cr

Decided: Vacated

Counsel (if known): For Appellants: Tracy Michele Dreispul
For Appellee: Jonathan Colan

Author of Opinion: Pryor

Edited: 12/12/2012 at 10:18 AM by Media Alerts Moderator

    Posted By: Brian Graupner @ 12/05/2012 12:04 PM     11th Circuit  

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