United States. v. Valdes

NACDL amicus brief in support of appellant on rehearing en banc.

Brief filed: 07/03/2006


United States. v. Valdes

District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals; Case No. 03-3066

Prior Decision

437 F.3d 1276 (D.C. Cir. 2006).


In a prosecution of a public official for accepting an "illegal gratuity" under 18 U.S.C. § 201, the definition of "official act" should be narrowly construed; a broad application of § 201 would over-criminalize ethics transgressions and criminalize de minimus ethical lapses, burdening the criminal justice system and possibly leading to the absurd result of criminalizing innocent gift-giving between citizens and public servants.

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Blair G. Brown and Barak Cohen.