Friday, February 26, 2010

U.S. v. Other Medicine, No. 09-30020 (2-26-10) (Fisher joined by Paez and Moscowitz). This is an Indian law issue. The defendant was convicted under the Major Crimes Act, 18 USC 1153, for "felony child abuse." The defendant severely beat his 9-year old stepson with a belt, causing contusions, abrasions, and welts that the school nurse said were the worst she had seen in 25 years. On appeal, defendant argues that "felony child abuse" should not be defined and punished by state law, which is used when there is no federal defined offense, because there was a federal misdemeanor, Assault on a Minor. The 9th reasoned that there was a difference between a misdemeanor and felony, and that there was no federal "trumping" in this case. Moreover, assault on a minor is different from child abuse. The 9th also holds that the offense is not constitutionally vague given the circumstances.


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