Jenner & Block

Firm Secures DC Circuit Decision Overturning Convictions on 6th Amendment Grounds

A Jenner & Block team of Partner Lindsay C. Harrison and Associate James T. Dawson succeeded in persuading the D.C. Circuit to overturn the convictions of pro bono client Pheerayuth Burden and his export business, Wing-On LLC.  Mr. Burden was charged with exporting gun parts without a license in violation of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA).  At trial, the testimony of a key prosecutorial witness was admitted through videotaped deposition; he was unavailable for questioning becausethe US government had deported him prior to the trial.  The firm argued that the admission of the deposition constituted a violation of the 6th Amendment, which guarantees the right of the defendants to confront the witnesses against them at trial.  On August 20, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit agreed, ruling that “the district court erred in admitting the deposition testimony” and vacating all charges.  The firm also won a second issue related to the jury instructions for a willful violation of the AECA, which criminalizes willful violations of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).

TAGS: Appellate, Litigation

PEOPLE: Lindsay C. Harrison, James Dawson

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