Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Glenn Marcus: The S&M Svengali

The Appeal

Justice Sonia Sotomayor
Justice Sonia Sotomayor

The basis of Glenn Marcus's appeal was technical. His conviction on the sex trafficking charge was based on the 2000 Trafficking Victims Protection Act, which had been used previously in very different types of cases, usually involving immigrants who were brought to the U.S and forced into sex work or sweatshop slavery. But much of what Jodi alleged to have happened took place after 2000, and evidence presented during the trial had covered the entire period of Jodi's involvement with Marcus, key points of which had occurred before the 2000 law had been enacted.

The Court of Appeals overturned Marcus's sex trafficking and forced labor convictions based on "Plain Error." In plain English, Marcus could not be convicted of a crime for violating a law that was only put in place after the now-illegal act was committed. The court wrote: "Marcus's relevant conduct differed materially before and after October 2000, such that there is a reasonable possibility that the jury may have convicted him based exclusively on pre-enactment conduct."

A retrial was ordered.

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