Appellant Jewell Case Study

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Appellant Jewell entered the United States driving a car that had 110 pounds of marijuana concealed in a secret compartment. Appellant testified that he did not know the marijuana was present. Appellant made an agreement (with a man who tried to sell marijuana to the Appellant) to drive the car from Mexico to the US. He thought there was probably something illegal in the vehicle, and made a cursory inspection of the car prior to driving it. After arrest he stated that he didn 't find anything during the inspection, and, therefore he assumed that customs wouldn 't find anything either. Appellant was asked at trial whether he had seen the secret compartment when he opened the trunk. He responded, "Well, you know, I saw a void there, but I didn 't know what it was." HISTORY: Defendant was convicted of possessing a controlled substance. Defendant appealed arguing…show more content…
ISSUE: Should Appellant Jewell have been convicted of possessing a controlled substance despite no positive knowledge of such possession, where Appellant had a conscious purpose to avoid learning the truth? RULING: Yes. Trial court conviction was affirmed. Dissent by: KENNEDY,Circuit Judge, with Judges Ely, Hufstedler and Wallace. RATIONALE: The legal premise of the jury instructions was sound. Professor Glanville Williams states, on the basis of both UK and US authority, "To the requirement of actual knowledge there is one strictly limited exception...[The] rule is that if a party has his suspicion aroused but then deliberately omits to make further enquiries, because he wishes to remain in ignorance, he is deemed to have knowledge." The Model Penal Code, Section 2.02(7) states, “When knowledge of the existence of a particular fact is an element of an offense, such knowledge is established if a person is aware of a high probability of its existence, unless he actually believes that it does not exist." In several cases, the Supreme Court has applied the Model Penal Code definition of
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