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Supreme Court Refuses to Review McTiernan’s Prison Sentence

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The final hopes of movie director John McTiernan to evade prison were dashed on Monday, when the U.S. Supreme Court refused his bid to have his guilty plea and one-year prison sentence, for lying to the FBI and perjury, reviewed. The 62-year-old director, who has directed movies like “Die Hard” and “The Hunt for Red October,” may head to prison, after all.

In the matter, prosecutors had accused that McTiernan had lied about hiring former private investigator Anthony Pellicano to wiretap a film producer.

Whe FBI produced a recording in which the accused discussed the wiretap, in 2006, McTiernan pleaded guilty, but later withdrew his guilty plea after changing counsel. He was indicted again, but entered a conditional guilty plea while appealing that the recording should have been suppressed.


Last year, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected his arguments. However, McTiernan held that the 9th Circuit had erred in applying the standard of review and suppression of the recording was proper in his case. He argued that the 9th Circuit had made a mistake by holding that his secret taping was in any way “essential” to a criminal act.

He argued that the recording was only meant for chronicling a reminder of the illegal acts that Pellicano planned to commit.

However, the 9th Circuit did not agree and observed, “Recording a conversation for the purpose of creating a reminder list is not an integral part of the execution of an illegal wiretap,” and thus not made for committing any criminal act and does not call for suppression.

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