United States v. Courtade, No. 18-6150 (4th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
The Fourth Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of defendant's 28 U.S.C. 2255 motion to vacate, set aside or correct his sentence imposed after he pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography. Although the government could not successfully argue that the guilty plea or appeal waiver barred defendant's claim, the court held that defendant failed to show that it was more likely than not that no reasonable juror would have convicted him. Rather, a reasonable jury could have found that the video depicted a lascivious exhibition of the anus, genitals, or pubic area and convicted defendant of possessing child pornography. The court also held that counsel was not constitutionally deficient in failing to consult with defendant about taking an appeal, and his ineffective assistance claim failed.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on July 10, 2019.