In United States v. Smith, the Fourth Circuit held that even though the district court erred in allowing the government to waive its initial closing argument, the error did not prejudice the defendant and, therefore, his sentence still stands.
In Cucalon v. Barr, the Fourth Circuit held Virginia Code § 18.2-248 is divisible by prohibited substance. Applying the modified categorical approach, the court held that distribution of cocaine under Virginia Code § 18.2-248, including distribution of that substance as an accommodation under Virginia Code § 18.2-248(D), satisfies the federal definitions of an “aggravated felony” and of a crime “relating to a controlled substance.”
In In re Moore, the Fourth Circuit denied a petition for a writ of mandamus, asking that the court direct Judge Conrad to recuse from presiding over petitioner’s criminal trial. The Fourth Circuit acknowledged that recusal might be required at a future point; however, it concluded that the extraordinary relief of mandamus was not warranted at this stage of the proceedings.