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United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
July 19, 1993, Filed
Nos. 92-3076, 92-3081, 92-3084, 92-3085, 92-3086
[*987] ANDERSON, Circuit Judge.
The defendants-appellants in these cases are abortion protesters who were arrested after they climbed a fence and sought to [*988] block access to a Wichita, Kansas, medical clinic. They were charged and subsequently convicted by a jury of violating 18 U.S.C. 1509, which makes it a misdemeanor for any person, by threat or force, willfully to prevent, obstruct, impede, or interfere with, or willfully attempt to prevent, obstruct, impede, or interfere with, the performance of duties under any [**2] order, judgment, or decree of the United States. Among the issues raised in these appeals, the defendants contend that (1) the evidence was insufficient to support a conviction; (2) the jury instructions improperly permitted the jury to impute individual guilt from the cumulative actions of others; (3) the indictment was improperly obtained; and (4) the district judge should have disqualified himself, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 144 or 455(b)(1), due to personal bias against the parties, or, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 455(a), because his impartiality could reasonably be questioned. We find no merit in any of these claims except that related to disqualification. As to that issue, we conclude that the district judge should have disqualified himself under 28 U.S.C. 455(a) because his impartiality might reasonably have been questioned as a result, among other things, of his appearance on the nationally televised evening program "Nightline." Accordingly, we vacate the conviction and sentence of each defendant, and we remand these cases to the district court for reassignment to another judge, [**3] and a new trial.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
1 F.3d 985 *; 1993 U.S. App. LEXIS 18062 **
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ROBERT E. COOLEY; RONALD L. TAYLOR; GARY P. LEBER; MERRI W. TURNER, also known as Merrie Foutz; and CHARLES W. MATSON, Defendants-Appellants.
Prior History: [**1] APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF KANSAS D.C. NOS. 91-10066-01, 91-10087-01, 91-10073-01, 91-10088-01, 91-10075-01. D.C. Judge PATRICK F. KELLY
clinic, protesters, district judge, injunction, recusal, appearance, impartiality, cases, motions, gate, Rescue, fence, guilt, defendants', instructions, television, obstruct, grounds, inside, Tab, questioned, abortion, leaders, impede, district court, innocence, willfully, sentence, matters, morning
Criminal Law & Procedure, Criminal Offenses, Miscellaneous Offenses, General Overview, Civil Procedure, Inability to Proceed, Disqualification & Recusal, Federal Judges, Preliminary Proceedings, Pretrial Motions & Procedures, Disqualification & Recusal, Governments, Courts, Judges, Grounds for Disqualification & Recusal, Judicial Officers, Judges, Standards of Review, Abuse of Discretion, Rule Application & Interpretation, Appeals, Substantial Evidence, Trials, Jury Instructions, Defenses, Particular Instructions, Acts & Mental States, Actus Reus, Accessories, Aiding & Abetting