US v. Stewart,
No. 03-10662 (8-23-05). The defendant had a rough go of it before a federal judge at trial. While at a FCI, he engages another inmate in discussion about wanting to kill the judge, and set an example. Idle conversation soon becomes plans, and the inmate, seeing a chance to better his situation (information is the coin of the realm where he is at), records him for the FBI. The defendant was convicted at trial and unsurprisingly got the max. On appeal, the question becomes what "quantum" of proof is required for a conviction; in other words, when does venting become a criminal offense. In this case, the 9th finds that the expressed anger passed over to criminal intent when the amount of money for a hitman was agreed upon, and the exact manner of killing was arrived at. The 9th did find that two false statements were multiplicitous as they occurred during the course of investigation but the latter had no effect upon the investigation (the FBI went back o confront the defendant after the investigation was completed).