Was the defendant's argument a good argument in the following case? United States v. Soussi, 316 F.3d 19095 (10th Cir. 2002).

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This reminds me of the story of the man who fell off the roof but was shot on the way down.  Although he was going to die anyway, the person who shot him shortened his life.  Intent follows the bullet.  In this case, it is obvious that if you ship something you intend for it to get there.  Whether or not it actually does get there is irrelevant.  It is all about intent.

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I agree with post #3.  An attempt is proof of premeditated intention to commit a crime.  The fact that the event failed to take place does not negate his guilt, nor the premediation and perhaps malice that went along with it.  He is guilty regardless of the success of his plan.

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Post 2 and I must be thinking of different cases.  The case of this sort that I am aware of (see link)


has to do not with searches but with whether Soussi violated US sanctions against Libya when he bought 50 trailers and tried to send them to Libya.  He said that he was only guilty of attempting to send them (because they never got there) and that the law setting up the sanctions didn't ban attempts.

Obviously, his argument wasn't good enough because the 10th Circuit rejected it and affirmed his conviction.  The law bans exporting to Libya and it also bans any transactions which are meant to evade the ban.  To me, that includes transactions that try to evade the ban, even if they fail.

So I don't think Soussi had much of an argument.

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The defendant's argument was both compelling and legally sound. Searches pursuant to lawfully issued warrants must describe the premises to be searched and indicate the items which one anticipates finding as a result of the search. The standard rule is one may not search an area where the described item cannot possibly be located. One may not search for a shot gun in a desk drawer; or as the standard illustration states, one may not search for an elephant in a match box. Beyond that, the search in this instance only involved searches for computer files related to illegal drug sales. The investigating detective found no such files, but continued looking.  A search is legal if it leads to illegal items that are "in plain view." If one were searching for a gun, looked where the gun might be, and found drugs there. In this instance, the offending files were not in plain view. The detective continued looking even though he had no reasonable basis for doing so. His claim of "plain view" was far fetched at best. For that reason, the defendant's defense was properly upheld by the 10th circuit.

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