Friday, August 05, 2016

US v. Lamott, No. 15-30012 (8-2-16)(Christen with Paez and Bybee). What is the mental state required for assault by strangulation in violation of 18 U.S.C. ยง 113(a)(8)? Is it specific or general? The 9th holds that it is general intent.

In so finding, the 9th reviews the legislative history, the common law of assault (specific) and of battery (general), and concludes that Congress meant "general intent." The opinion provides a good summary of the assault states of mind.
The 9th also finds that there was no plain error in the court instructing the jury that the defendant "wounded" rather than "assaulted" the defendant. The 9th cautions that assault is better because it tracks the statute, but there was no objection to the instruction.

The decision is here:



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