Saturday, May 27, 2006

US v. Pintado-Isiordia, No. 05-50489 (5-26-06). A somewhat elliptic opinion affirming a 1326 conviction but remanding for resentencing. The evidentiary issues raised indicate that the defense was probably that the defendant was a US citizen. The 9th (per curiam) found that the birth certificate was self authenticating under Fed R Civ P 44(a)(2), and that the Convention signed between the US and Mexico permitted an Apostille to certify its authenticity rather than a "final certification." This specific birth certificate, though, was illegible at points, and so the admission of this particular birth certificate was error. The error was harmless because the evidence was corroborating defendant's witness and was not prejudicial. The 9th also found no evidentiary error in admitting Mexican military records or photos given the defense and limiting instructions. The sentencing remand was required because it was unclear whether the court found the prior conviction of assault with a firearm to be a crime of violence under a categorical or modified categorical approach.