United States v. Smith, No. 17-13265 (11th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
The Eleventh Circuit affirmed Defendants Smith and Delancy's convictions for conspiracy to commit alien smuggling, alien smuggling, and attempted illegal reentry. The court held that the district court did not err by admitting the videotaped deposition testimony of a smuggled alien in defendant's boat, where the government's multiple efforts to locate her were unavailing and constituted a good faith effort that was reasonable under the factual circumstances of this case.
The court also held that the district court did not err in denying Smith's motion for a mistrial based on the prosecutor's comments about Smith's prior conviction during closing arguments, because they were made in direct response to Smith's argument. Even assuming arguendo that the statements were improper, the claim still failed because the statements did not affect Smith's substantial rights. Finally, the district court committed no cumulative error.