Circuit Upholds Verdict in Gun-Planting Case

     (CN) - The 9th Circuit upheld a $3.7 million verdict against Oakland, Calif., and two of its officers who were accused of planting an assault rifle on a parolee's property.
     Officers John Parkinson and Marcus Midyett appealed the ruling in favor of Torry Smith and Patricia Gray, claiming the court applied an incorrect "subjective intent" test when reaching its verdict.
     But because it's the first time the officers are making that claim in court, the circuit dismissed the appeal.
     In November 2007, a jury found that the officers violated the civil rights of Smith and his then-girlfriend, Gray, by cooking up a case against him to justify his 2004 arrest.
     Smith said the officers entered his East Oakland home while he was in bed and questioned him about a drug dealer. Smith was arrested and booked on a charge of possessing a semiautomatic weapon that police say was found in his yard.
     Prosecutors dropped the gun charges, but Smith was kept in jail for nearly five months before he was cleared in January 2005.
     Smith and Gray sued and won.
     The officers have denied any wrongdoing.