Unpublished Disposition, 863 F.2d 887 (9th Cir. 1988)Annotate this Case
UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,v.Mark Lawrence HARRIS, Defendant-Appellant.
United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.
Submitted* Oct. 3, 1988.Decided Nov. 16, 1988.
Before NELSON, NOONAN and LEAVY, Circuit Judges.
Mark Harris appeals pro se his conviction of attempting to evade or defeat payment of income taxes, in violation of 28 U.S.C. § 7201. He contends (1) the district court judge acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner by presiding when biased and interested in the outcome of the case; (2) the district court judge erred in denying his motions for disclosure of grand jury minutes; (3) the district court judge erred in failing to allow a jury to decide issues of law and the admissibility of evidence; (4) the district court judge erred in failing to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction; and (5) there was insufficient evidence to convict him of willfully evading the payment of taxes.
The judgment of conviction is affirmed. Harris makes no specific allegations of personal bias or interest in the outcome of the trial on the part of the district judge. Therefore, the district court judge acted properly in not recusing himself. United States v. Sibla, 624 F.2d 864, 868 (9th Cir. 1980). Second, the court properly denied Harris's motion for disclosure of grand jury minutes because he failed to allege or demonstrate any particularized need. United States v. Walczak, 783 F.2d 852, 857 (9th Cir. 1986). Third, the court properly denied Harris's motion for a jury to decide issues of law and admissibility of evidence. The jury's obligation is to apply the law to the facts and the defendant is not entitled to a "nullification instruction" which would instruct the jury to ignore the law and acquit on the basis of sympathy or community conscience. United States v. Simpson, 460 F.2d 515, 519-20 (9th Cir. 1972). Admissibility of evidence is a question of law for the court to decide. Fed.R.Evid. 104(a). Fourth, the court had both personal and subject matter jurisdiction in this case. United States v. Studley, 783 F.2d 934, 937 (9th Cir. 1986). Finally, there was sufficient evidence to convict Harris of willfully evading the payment of taxes. United States v. Marabelles, 724 F.2d 1374, 1377 (9th Cir. 1984); United States v. Voorhies, 658 F.2d 710, 713 (1981).