Friday, August 05, 2016

A good day for Dan Kaplan, an appellant AFPD for the District of Az (Phoenix).  He won two cases.

1.  US v. Alvirez, No. 11-10244 (8-1-16)(Rawlinson with Nelson and Ikuta)(note: This is an Az FPD case).  This has an appeal from an involuntary manslaughter conviction arising in Indian Country (Navajo Reservation). The 9th held that the court abused its discretion when it admitted the unauthenticated Certificate of Indian Blood to meet the jurisdictional element of "Indian status." The proponent of the certificate was not a member of the tribe.  FRE 902(1) allows certain entities to issue self-authenticating documents, but the list does not include Indian tribes.  The conviction is vacated and remanded.  It is not double jeopardy because there was still evidence that went to the element; the admission though was not harmless.

Congrats to Dan Kaplan, AFPD of Az FPD, for the win.

The decision is here:

2.  US v. Benally, No. 14-10452 (8-1-16)(Noonan with Nelson and O'Scannlain).  The 9th reversed a 924(c) conviction for use of a firearm in a "crime of violence" arising from an involuntary manslaughter conviction.  The 9th concluded that under Leocal, and the categorical approach, involuntary manslaughter cannot be a "crime of violence" as the mental state only requires gross negligence.

Congrats to Dan Kaplan, AFPD of the Az FPD, for the win.

The decision is here:


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