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Home / Opinions / Courts / 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals / Criminal Law: Expert Testimony – Defense Theory – Coercion

Criminal Law: Expert Testimony – Defense Theory – Coercion

(1)Where a defendant in a methamphetamine case argued that if he had disclosed his firearms expert witness pursuant to a stipulated order, his constitutional rights would have been violated because he might have been exposed to an additional charge for use of a firearm during the alleged conspiracy, the district court did not abuse its discretion in ordering the defendant to comply with the order because he failed to allege an injury that was more than speculative.

(2)Where a district court refused to provide a defendant’s offered instructions on coercion, the refusal was not error because the defendant failed to provide evidence at trial that the threat occurred in a situation where there was no reasonable opportunity to avoid the danger, and the court did not err by preventing counsel from presenting a defense theory in closing since counsel was not prohibited from arguing that the defendant’s actions were involuntary.

Judgment is affirmed.

U.S. v. Morales (MLW No. 63901/Case No. 11-2557 – 12 pages) (U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit, Smith, J.) Appealed from U.S. District Court, District of Iowa, Reade, J. (Clemens A. Erdahl, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, argued for appellant) (Justin A. Lightfoot, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, argued for appellee).

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