Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Gardner

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

December 13, 2016

United States of America, Plaintiff,
v.
Michael Taylor Gardner, Defendant.

          David R. Grand United States Magistrate Judge.

          OPINION AND ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR NEW TRIAL [81]

          Hon. Gershwin A. Drain United States District Court Judge.

         I. Introduction

         On October 13, 2016, a jury found Michael Taylor Gardner (“Defendant”) guilty of sex trafficking of a minor; sex trafficking using force, fraud, coercion, or any combination of such means; and production of child pornography. See Dkt. No. 77. Defendant filed a Motion for a New Trial on November 2, 2016. Dkt. No. 81.

         This motion is fully briefed. The Court originally scheduled a hearing on Defendant's pending motion. After reviewing the parties' submissions, the Court concludes that a hearing is not necessary and that the Motion for New Trial can be properly decided on the papers. See Local Rule 7.1(f)(2).

         For the reasons stated below, Defendant's Motion for a New Trial is DENIED.

         II. Legal Standard

         Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 33 provides that a court “may vacate any judgment and grant a new trial if the interest of justice so requires.” Fed. R. Crim. P. 33(a). “The decision to grant or deny a motion for new trial rests within the district court's sound discretion.” United States v. Seago, 930 F.2d 482, 488 (6th Cir. 1991). “The defendant bears the burden of proving the need for a new trial and such motions should be granted sparingly and with caution.” United States v. Turner, 995 F.2d 1357, 1364 (6th Cir. 1993).

         III. Discussion

         In his motion, Defendant argues that the Court decided the Motion to Suppress and Motions in Limine incorrectly, but has chosen to reserve arguments on these motions for appeal. Dkt. No. 81, p. 2 (Pg. ID No. 721). As to issues that arose during the course of the trial, Defendant makes two arguments for why a new trial is necessary. First, Defendant argues that the Court's decision that neither party could engage in recross examination infringed on his rights under the Confrontation Clause. Second, Defendant asserts that the Court erred in allowing rebuttal testimony of Orin King and denying Defendant surrebuttal. For the reasons discussed below, the Court will DENY Defendant's Motion.

         A. Denial of Opportunity to Recross Examine Witnesses

         First, Defendant asserts that the Court's refusal to allow either party to recross examine witnesses violated his Sixth Amendment rights. Dkt. No. 81, pp. 4-8 (Pg. ID No. 723-27). Defendant does not specify what new information the Government elicited on redirect from any witnesses that necessitated recross-examination.

         “Cross-examination of a witness is a matter of right.” Alford v. United States, 282 U.S. 687, 691 (1931). However, this right is not absolute. United States v. Beverly, 369 F.3d 516, 535 (6th Cir. 2004). The Sixth Circuit vests the district court with broad discretion regarding the scope of cross-examination. Id. “Trial judges retain wide latitude ‘to impose reasonable limits on such cross-examination based on concerns about, among other things, harassment, prejudice, confusion of the issues, the witness' safety, or interrogation that is repetitive or only marginally relevant.' ” United States v. Blakeney, 942 F.2d 1001, 1022 (6th Cir. 1991) (quoting Delaware v. Van Arsdall, 475 U.S. 673, 679 (1986)). Accordingly, the Sixth Amendment does not grant a criminal defendant absolute control over cross-examination. Dorsey v. Parke, 872 F.2d 163, 166 (6th Cir. 1989).

         The Sixth Circuit has “permitted district courts to curtail or even to deny recross-examination if the government elicits no new matters on redirect examination.” United States v. Payne, 437 F.3d 540, 548 (6th Cir. 2006); see alsoUnited States v. Odom, 13 F.3d 949, 957 (6th Cir. 1994) (finding a trial court's limitation on recross-examination was not an abuse of discretion); United States v. Dabelko, 952 F.2d 404 (6th Cir. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.