Tuesday, October 18, 2016

1.  Visciotti v. Martel, No. 11-99008 (10-17-16)(Berzon w/Pregerson &a Tashima; concurrence by Berzon). The Supreme Court's summary reversal of the granting of habeas relief for IAC in the sentencing phase has ramifications here.  The reversal stated that the state supreme court's denial of PCR relief for want of prejudice was not unreasonable and that habeas relief was not warranted. The 9th affirmed the district court's denial of the habeas remand.  The 9th did hold that the issue of public closure of the death penalty qualification void dire was not IAC. Concurring, Berzon, joined by Pregersn, is concerned that broad denial of habeas relief on cert without the benefit of briefing does a disservice.

The decision is here:


2.  US v. Camez, No. 14-10251 (10-17-16)(Graber w/McKeown & Peterson, D.J.). The 9th affirms the RICO conviction for continuing crimes that spanned his 18th birthday.  The district court had instructed the jury that it could only considered crimes that continued after the defendant's 18th birthday. A special verdict made this clear.

The decision is here:


3. US v. Dowai, No. 14-10277 (10-17-16)(Callahan w/Thomas & Murguia).  The defendant was convicted of visa fraud and false statements in the Northern Mariana Islands. She challenged her convictions by asserting that the Northern Mariana Islands District Court was not an independent judiciary. The 9th held that the court was validly established under article IV of the Constitution giving Congress authority to set up courts in the territories.  Supreme Court precedent also forecloses the argument.

The decision is here:


4. US v. Nixon, No. 16-50097 (10-17-16)(per durian w/Trott, Owens, & Friedland). The 9th holds that a congressional appropriations rider that prohibits DOJ from using funds to prosecute individuals acting under state medical marijuana laws does not impact a federal district court from imposing a restriction on marijuana use as a condition of probation. Cf US v. McIntosh, 2016 WL 4363168 (9th Cir. Aug. 16, 2016).

The decision is here:



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