Appeal Tossed on Defense of Inter-Union Violence that Hospitalized Four
December 16th 2010 · 0 Comments
Judge Correctly Barred Defense in Union Clash
BARBARA LEONARD |Courthouse News Service
December 16, 2010
The 2nd Circuit upheld the conviction and sentencing of a labor union worker who fought with the bricklayers union at a Niagara Falls construction site.
Steven Markle was convicted in 2006 of two counts of attempted Hobbs Act extortion for violence that results in obstructing commerce.
The 1998 fight escalated from a dispute between the two unions over exclusive rights to perform fine sweep work at the construction site for E.G. Sackett. Four bricklayers were hospitalized after the attack, and a federal grand jury indicted Markle and 14 other laborers from Local 91.
Markle was sentenced to two concurrent terms of 57 months in prison, followed by two concurrent terms of two years of supervised release, plus restitution of $20,000 to E.G. Sackett.
On appeal, Markle argued that the court denied his right to a fair trial by precluding a defense to Hobbs Act liability. In U.S. v. Enmons, the Supreme Court held that Hobbs Act liability does not extend to conduct in pursuit of “legitimate labor ends.”
Chief Judge Rosemary Pooler wrote for the appellate court that the Enmons defense is limited to labor-management disputes and does not extend to inter-union violence.
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