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United States v. Sanchez (1986) – Case Brief Summary (Federal Court)

In United States v. Sanchez, 790 F.2d 245 (2d. Cir. 1986), cert. denied, 479 U.S. 989 (1986), the trial court ruled that Sanchez be tried in absentia after he failed to appear for trial. Id. at 248.

Defense counsel's "limited defense activity" in the case consisted solely of moving for judgment of acquittal and objecting twice to the court's jury instruction regarding Sanchez's absence. Id. at 248, 253.

The Second Circuit rejected Sanchez's claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, noting, in part, that the defense attorney had not remained silent, but, rather, had "in fact participated by objecting to the trial in absentia and to the flight instruction and by moving for judgment of acquittal." Id.

Doing this and nothing more, the Court concluded, constituted trial strategy. Id.