Parties to the Case
The parties to the case were the United States of America as the plaintiff and Koriel L. Clemons as the defendant (United States Court of Appeals, 1969).
Facts of the case
On 28th of May 1992, Douglas Althouse was shot dead during a carjacking incident in Shelby County. Althouse, who was a Drug Enforcement Administration special agent, was working on a certain investigation Sgt. Mark Hobbs of the Hoover Police Department. Hobbs, and Althouse were to meet on the evening of May 28th between 10.00 and 11.00 p.m. to elaborate on the search warrants that were supposed to be executed on Friday, May 29, 1992 (United States Court of Appeals, 1969). Naylor Braswell, a deputy Sheriff of Jefferson County, agreed to come with Althouse to meet Hobbs and they left for the meeting just before 10.00 p.m. in an undercover automobile, a black Model Z-28 Camaro. On their way, they stopped at a service station, and Braswell went in to get a telephone number for the pizza delivery while Althouse remained in the car. From the service station, Braswell observed a person sitting in the driver’s seat of the car and pointing a firearm at the head of Althouse. Moments later Braswell saw Althouse exiting the car after several gunshots. Douglas Althouse died shortly after from the gunshot wounds (United States Court of Appeals, 1969).
Eugene Clemons and his friend Dedrick Smith were convicted of killing a federal agent who was engaged in his official duties. Additionally, Clemons was convicted of carrying a firearm that was used to commit a crime of violence (Findlaw, 2015). The District Court in Alabama affirmed the convictions leading to the appeal by Clemons.
Questions of the Law presented to the Court
The issue presented to the court involved the definition of ‘official duties’ under Section 1114.
Objective of the Parties
Clemons objected that the presented evidence was not enough to show that the victim was, in fact, a federal agent performing his duties when he was murdered, the court violated its discretion by admitting before similar acts testimony, and the court violated its discretion when they admitted into evidence a confession and waiver that was executed by him in relation to a juvenile adjudication (Findlaw, 2015).
On the other hand, the Government argued that both Clemons and Smith were fairly convicted as they violated the 18 USC Secs. 1111 and 1114. Also, it argued that Clemons violated 18 USC Sec. 924 part c which specifically handles penalties applied to people who harm a federal agent.
Rule of the Law
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the convictions.
Rationale for deciding the case
The court came to a conclusion that there was no specific format for determining when a federal agent is on duty and when he is not. Mentioning previous cases such as U.S v. Hoffer and U.S v. Boone, the Court held that an undercover officer may be working outside the scope of jobs that begin at 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Also, the Court used …