11th Circuit rejects actor Wesley Snipes' appeal

September 6, 2011 - 1:20 PM
People Wesley Snipes

FILE - In this March 2, 2010 file photo, Wesley Snipes attends the premiere of

ATLANTA (AP) — The federal appeals court in Atlanta on Tuesday turned away the latest attempt by actor Wesley Snipes to get his conviction and prison sentence on tax charges overturned.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the appeal by Snipes, who was convicted in 2008 on three misdemeanor counts of willful failure to file income tax returns.

His defense lawyers contended they received emails from former jurors reporting misconduct among other members of the panel. One of the former jurors said in the email that three other jurors acknowledged they had determined Snipes was guilty before the trial began.

A federal court rejected the request for a new trial and noted that there were reasons to question the veracity of the allegations made in the emails. The 11th Circuit upheld the ruling on Tuesday, finding that there wasn't "strong, substantial and incontrovertible evidence" that would warrant a new trial.

Snipes started a three-year term in a Pennsylvania prison in December. He's appeared in more than a dozen films, from "White Men Can't Jump" and "Demolition Man" in the early 1990s to the blockbuster Blade trilogy.

Defense attorney Dan Meachum said he was disappointed with the court's decision. He said his client still feels that he "did not receive a fair trial decided by a just and impartial jury" because of those issues.