United States v. Rhines, No. 10-4077 (3d Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
The defendant was convicted of possession with intent to deliver 50 grams of cocaine base and sentenced to life in prison. The conviction was affirmed on appeal and the Supreme Court denied certiorari. Subsequent challenges were also rejected. In 2010 the district court denied a petition for a writ of error coram nobis. The writ claimed that officers involved in the prosecution had been indicted for perjury in an unrelated case. The Third Circuit affirmed, first noting that the writ is generally not appropriate where the defendant is still serving his sentence. The defendant did not allege a fundamental error that rendered his trial invalid. The defendant offered nothing but speculation that evidence concerning the officers would have led to a not guilty verdict, despite other evidence against him.