Wesley Snipes avoids jail a little longer
Snipes' initial appeal focused on what he considered to be an "unreasonable" sentence. He believed that he should serve, at most, time on probation. A panel of federal court judges disagreed, paving the way for Snipes to serve time in prison as originally ordered.
The most recent legal action has given Snipes a bit more time to enjoy his freedom. He now doesn't have to report to the Bureau of Prisons on September 2, which was the date allegedly given to Snipes by a U.S. marshal.
Procedurally, what's happening isn't so much a continuation of the legal process as a new direction. Snipes' lawyers have filed motion for a new trial, citing evidence that he has been denied his Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights. In case those amendments don't roll off your tongue quite so easily, here's the text of the Fifth Amendment:
And the text of the Sixth Amendment:No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Snipes is specifically arguing that he is entitled to a new trial because three of the jurors allegedly remarked that they would find Snipes guilty without hearing any of the evidence. According to his lawyers, he has the emails to prove it, though it's unclear why those emails were not disclosed earlier.In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.
Snipes also alleges that the prosecution failed to disclose details of criminal charges which had been filed against one of the witnesses and Snipes' former accountant, Kenneth Starr (no, not that Kenneth Starr).
There has been no ruling yet on Snipes' latest request.