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United States of America v. Steven D. Ballinger

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS


February 25, 2011

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
STEVEN D. BALLINGER,
DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Herndon, Chief Judge

MEMORANDUM and ORDER

Before the Court is the Government's First Motion in Limine (Doc. 25). The Court advised Defendant that failure to respond to the Government's pending motions in limine by February 1, 2011, would be considered an admission of the merits of the motions in accordance with SDIL-LR 7.1(c) (Doc. 59). Defendant has not filed a response. Accordingly, the Court GRANTS the Government's Motion. But the Court also notes that the law applicable to the Government's requests is clear.

First, the Government moves to Court to preclude Defendant from defining or attempting to define reasonable doubt to the jury (Doc. 25, p. 1). The Court GRANTS this request. See United States v. Bruce, 109 F.3d 323, 329 (7th Cir. 1997)("It is well established in this Circuit, however, that neither trial courts nor counsel should attempt to define 'reasonable doubt' for the jury.").

Second, the Government moves the Court to preclude Defendant from arguing any potential sentence to the jury (Doc. 25, p. 2). The Court GRANTS this request.

See Shannon v. United States, 512 U.S. 573, 579 (1994)("when a jury has no sentencing function, it should be admonished to 'reach its verdict without regard to what sentence might be imposed.'").

Lastly, the Government moves to preclude the Defendant from presenting any argument or otherwise attempting to suggest the possibility of jury nullification (Doc. 25, p. 3). The Court GRANTS this request. See Smith v. Winters, 337 F.3d 935, 938 (7th Cir. 2003)("A Defendant has of course no right to ask the jury to disregard the judge's instructions('jury nullification')." (citing Sparf v. United States, 156 U.S. 51, 102 (1895)); Gibbs v. VanNatta, 329 F.3d 582, 584 (7th Cir. 2003); United States v. Bruce, 109 F.3d 323, 327 (7th Cir. 1997); United States v. Manning, 79 F.3d 212, 219 (1st Cir. 1996)).

Accordingly, the Government's First Motion in Limine (Doc. 25) is hereby GRANTED.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

Signed this 25th day of February, 2011.

David R. Herndon 2011.02.25 15:49:08 -06'00' Chief Judge United States District Court

20110225

© 1992-2011 VersusLaw Inc.



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