From our private database of 39,700+ case briefs...
United States v. Smith
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
739 F. 3d 843 (2014)
The federal government (plaintiff) prosecuted James William Smith (defendant) for knowing possession of child pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(a)(5)(B). The trial evidence established that Smith owned a computer to which his roommates Elizabeth Penix and Joshua Jolly also had access. The computer contained 26 pornographic files, 19 of which had been previewed before they were downloaded. Computer experts testified that the downloading must have been intentional. The files' labels contained the words "child," "pre-teen," or the ages of their subjects. It would be clear to anyone who read the file names or previewed the files that they related to children engaged in sexual activity. Employment records eliminated Penix as a suspect. Jolly denied any knowledge of the files or the downloading software. However, no special knowledge was required for downloading the files. Smith did not testify, but Penix and Smith's parents testified that Smith was at the parents' house and therefore had no access to his computer on the dates in question. The jury convicted Smith, but the judge granted Smith's Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 29 motion to enter a judgment of acquittal, on the basis that it was just as likely that Jolly, rather than Smith, downloaded the files. The government appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Benavides, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 645,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 645,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 39,700 briefs, keyed to 988 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.