Strother v. United States

U.S. DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
Criminal Practice

New York Law Journal

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Judge Thomas Griesa

Convicted in 1996 for his involvement in a drug conspiracy, Strother was sentenced to 262 months in prison on Dec. 8, 1997. Trial was partly grounded on wiretap evidence denied suppression on Sept. 26, 1996. In denying suppression the court rejected Strother's argument that government's wiretap application was based on an incorrect authorization number, and improperly sworn before a notary public rather than a U.S. District Judge. Second Circuit affirmed conviction in March 1999. On appeal Strother did not argue that the trial court erred in admitting the wiretap evidence. District court denied Strother's motion under 28 USC §2255 to vacate sentence on the ground that the wiretap evidence should have been suppressed. In addition to being time barred under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, the court dismissed Strother's petition because he defaulted procedurally—by not raising it on direct appeal—on his claims regarding the wiretap evidence's admissibility. Further, Strother's two alleged defects in the government's application were merely technical violations of the wiretap statute, not constitutional or jurisdictional violations. As such the alleged defects did not support collateral attack.

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