Monday, February 12, 2007

US v. Ross, No. 06-30204 (2-8-07). Defendant was convicted of making a false statement. The false statement related to acquiring a firearm (previously defendant had been discharged from the military after trying to mail a machine gun home to Dad). Defendant had been active in neo-Nazi white supremacist circles and had come to the attention of law enforcement. As a SR condition, the court ordered that defendant not associate with neo-Nazi white supremacist members or similar organizations. Defendant appealed, arguing vagueness, constitutional rights, and that the condition was not a reasonably related to the purposes of SR. The 9th (Rymer, joined by Tallman and Brezon) affirmed. Such groups tend to engage in criminal activity (conceded by counsel) and that as reasonably construed, the condition related to defendant's rehabilitation and protection of the public.

Nguyen v. Garcia, No. )5-56596 (2-9-07). The 9th (Bea joined by Tashima and Siler) held that under AEDPA, a state court's decision that a defendant's silence after arrest could be used in a pretrial competency determination. Wainwright, 474 US 284 (1986) held that silence could not be used in an insanity trial to attack the defense. A competency determination, reasoned the court, was different and the state court was reasonable in so deciding.

US v. Sales, No. 06-50219 (2-9-07). The 9th (B. Fletcher joined by Fernandez and Graber) agreed with defendant that special conditions of SR were unreasonable. Defendant was convicted of counterfeiting. he used a scanner and a computer to produce bills. The conditions of SR required, among other things, that he seek permission to use any computer device and that he submit all bills and alcohol/drug treatment. The 9th upheld the alcohol/drug treatment because of some history of substance abuse in his background, but struck down the all inclusive seek-permission-from-PO requirements as unreasonable given the relativity simple computer skills required for the crimes, the all-inclusiveness of the requirements, and the head-scratching "why".

Congrats to AFPD Jill Ginstling, C.D. Ca (Los Angeles) for the win.


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