Friday, August 31, 2007

US v. Stanton, No. 06-10519 (8-31-07). In a sobering opinion, the 9th (Goodwin joined by Bybee and Smith) held that there was sufficient evidence to support a magistrate's conviction for DUI. The district court had reversed, but the 9th reinstated. The 9th held that it had jurisdiction over the government's appeal. In terms of the conviction, when viewed in the light most favorable to the government, a rational trier of fact could have determined the defendant was guilty. The defendant testified as to the amount of alcohol he drank (several glasses and refills at a wine tasting near Lake Mead and a later glass at a restaurant). He also was driving 70 mph in a 45 mph zone. He failed two field sobriety tests and blew a .115 on a preliminary breath test. That test result was not used to determine guilt but only to establish probable cause, although the test was used to corroborate that he had been drinking. The statements of the defendant that he was "buzzed" also supported the verdict.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems to me that the worst aspect of this case for defendants is the scope of the government's right of appeal that it defines. I think the decision may have stretched the interpretation of 18 USC sec. 3731 by allowing appeal where the charge was by way of criminal complaint rather than information or indictment (as the statute appears to limit), but a contrary decision, while it would have helped Stanton, probably would have resulted in amendment of the statute anyway.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007 11:14:00 AM  

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