United States v. Burwell, et al. -- Issues

1. Whether Appellants were deprived of their Sixth Amendment right to an impartial jury because the Trial Court, over objection, erroneously permitted the government to introduce a vast array of evidence of uncharged violent crimes the jury could not have concluded by a preponderance of evidence they committed, that were neither similar to nor related to the charged offenses, and were far more prejudicial than probative of any issue in this case?

2. Whether, due to misinterpretation of evidence rules, the Trial Court deprived Appellants of their right to confront government witnesses and to present a complete defense by excluding evidence of uncharged crimes by a key cooperating codefendant, where counsel had a good faith basis for their questions; from the proffered evidence jurors could conclude that the witness committed the crimes; the uncharged conduct was evidence of the witness’s bias and motive to implicate Appellants, rather than other, closer associates; and the proffered evidence was substantially more probative than prejudicial?

3. Whether the Trial Court erroneously excluded extrinsic evidence that a cooperating codefendant admitted he would lie when testifying against Appellants by mischaracterizing the testimony as going to the witness’s character for truthfulness, rather than as a prior inconsistent statement?

4. Whether the Trial Court erred by denying Appellants Aaron Perkins’s and Lionel Stoddard’s motions to sever their cases, where Perkins was accused of involvement only in the last bank robbery and Stoddard only in two robberies, where neither was implicated in any of the highly prejudicial uncharged criminal acts, where the only evidence of their involvement was the uncorroborated testimony of cooperating codefendants, and where it is impossible to conclude that the verdicts against them were unaffected by evidence against more culpable codefendants?

5. Whether the Trial Court deprived Appellants Malvin Palmer and Carlos Aguiar of their Sixth Amendment right to present closing argument by sustaining repeated, meritless government objections and imposing improper restrictions on the scope of argument?

6. Whether the Trial Court erred by denying motions for judgment of acquittal where no reasonable jury could have concluded from the evidence presented that Burwell agreed to conduct or participate in a racketeering enterprise in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1962(d) and no evidence supported his conviction for using or carrying a machinegun in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(B)(ii), that Perkins committed any of the charged crimes, or that Stoddard committed any of the charged crimes?

7. Whether the Trial Court erred by sentencing Appellants Palmer and Aguiar under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1) to 10-year consecutive prison terms in addition to the 25-year mandatory consecutive term imposed on each for their second counts under that statute?

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