Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Court Rejects Wesley Snipes Appeal Of Conviction On Tax Charges

FIRST PUBLISHED: September 6, 2011 4:50 PM EDT ATLANTA, Ga. -- The federal appeals court in Atlanta on Tuesday turned away the latest attempt by actor Wesley Snipes to get his conviction and prison sentence on tax charges overturned. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the appeal by Snipes, who was convicted in 2008 on three misdemeanor counts of willful failure to file income tax returns. His defense lawyers contended they received emails from former jurors reporting misconduct among other members of the panel. One of the former jurors said in the email that three other jurors acknowledged they had determined Snipes was guilty before the trial began. A federal court rejected the request for a new trial and noted that there were reasons to questionthe veracity of the allegations made in the emails. The 11th Circuit upheld the ruling on Tuesday, finding that there wasnt strong, substantial and incontrovertible evidence that would warrant a new trial. Snipes started a three-year term in a Pennsylvania prison in December. Hes appeared in more than a dozen films, from White Men Cant Jump and Demolition Man in the early 1990s to the blockbuster Blade trilogy. Defense attorney Dan Meachum said he was disappointed with the courts decision. He said his client still feels that he did not receive a fair trial decided by a just and impartial jury because of those issues. Copyright 2011 by Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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