Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Court Affirms Threatening Mail Convictions for Letters to USMS

US v. Rendelman: Rendelman went to trial (pro se) on six counts of mailing threatening communications under 18 USC 876(c). The threat in Count Two was directed specifically at the president, while the threat in Count Seven (one count of the indictment was dismissed before trial) was directed against the president and "all White House employees." Both counts involved letters sent to the US Marshal's Service while Rendelman was incarcerated. He was convicted on all counts and sentenced to 180 months in prison, including an enhanced 120-month term on Count Seven (in which the stat max was doubled because of the threat to White House employees).

On appeal, Rendelman (no longer pro se) raised several challenges to Counts Two and Seven, which the Fourth Circuit rejected. First, he argued that both counts were fatally defective for failing to allege violations of the statute. As to Count Two, the court rejected Rendelman's argument that the USMS is not a "person" under 876(c), holding that Count Two alleged the fundamental elements of the offense: mailing, threat, and mens rea. The same argument met the same fate on Count Seven, which also set forth the element triggering the enhanced statutory maximum. Second, the court rejected Rendelman's argument that the evidence was insufficient to support the convictions, including the jury's determination that the Count Seven enhancement had been triggered. Finally, the court rejected, with little discussion, his argument that the charges had been constructively amended at trial.

1 comment:

kay sieverding said...

I tried to sue the USMS under 42 USC section 1985(2) and DOJ replied that USMS had immunity under 42 USC section 1985(2) because the USMS wasn't a person. See DDC 11-0090

A 42 USC 1985(2) is one involving threats or violence acting to stop a civil lawsuit. The USMS imprisoned me without a criminal charge, an arraignment or a bail hearing for 5 months. I don't have a criminal record and was not accused of contempt in the presence of a court, fraud, or perjury. USMS lawyer stated that they did it to stop my third party lawsuit.

So I don't see how USMS can be a person for the purpose of prosecution for receiving threats but not a person for the purpose of punishment for making threats. You know a corporation can be considered a person for the purposes of law.