United States v. Reese Brief of Appellees in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

Michael Harless Firearms Law, U. S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

On July 11, 2013, our firm filed an appellees’ brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit on behalf of three individuals in a family-owned Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) located in Deming, New Mexico.

Four members of the Reese family had been acquitted by the jury of all but four counts of a 30-count indictment. Then, nearly four months after the trial was over, the Government filed a sealed ex parte motion revealing to the court that, after trial, the government lawyers who tried the case were made aware of evidence that was potentially favorable to the defendants to impeach the credibility of one of the government’s key witnesses. By this motion, the Government asked for a ruling, without an adversarial hearing, that it had not violated its constitutional duty to disclose potential impeachment evidence. The trial judge refused, ordering the Government to turn the evidence over to the defense.

>After two hearings, the court discovered that the impeachment evidence had been in the hands of the Government for over a decade and that the government attorneys suppressed evidence from which the jury could infer that the government witness lied. After finding that the unimpeached testimony of government agent was material, the trial judge ordered a new trial on the four counts of conviction. The government appealed the order granting a new trial.

Having exhausted their funds, the Reeses contacted the U.S. Justice Foundation and Gun Owners of America for assistance on their appeal, who engaged our firm to handle the appeal. Our appellees’ brief documents how the Federal Government denied the Reeses their liberty, without due process of law, and in violation of their right to confront witnesses against them.

Link to brief