United States Fourth Circuit

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US v. Lawson, 10-4831

In a prosecution of several defendants for cockfighting in violation of 7 USC section 2156 and illegal gambling, convictions are: 1) affirmed in part, where a) the animal fighting statute is a constitutional exercise of Congress's power under the Commerce Clause, b) the district court did not err in holding joint trials of one defendant and his co-defendants, c) convictions for participating in an illegal gambling business were proper, and d) certain conspiracy convictions were proper; and 2) vacated as to all defendants' convictions for animal fighting, where the government failed to demonstrate that a juror's misconduct did not affect the verdict; and 3) vacated as to conspiracy convictions of certain defendants whose conspiracy charges related solely to the Animal Welfare Act.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 04/20/2012
  • Published 04/20/2012


  • Barbara Milano Keenan


  • United States Fourth Circuit


  • For Appellant:
  • Clarence Rauch Wise, Nathan S. Williams

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