Monday, September 17, 2018

1. US v. Lynch, No. 10-50219 (9-13-18)(Rogers w/Bybee; dissent by Watford).

The 9th affirms the conviction for marijuana trafficking via a dispensary. On the gov’t’s cross appeal, the 9th remands for a resentencing to impose a mandatory 5 year minimum sentence. The 9th though instructs the court to determine if the defendant’s acts comply with state law.

The issue that prompted the dissent concerns jury nullification. The majority found it firmly stated that the jury had to follow the law. 

Watford, dissenting, argues that the district court went over the line. It seemed to threaten the jurors by using language of violating oath and implying repercussions. This went beyond the instructions to follow the law and not use personal views to determine the verdict.

The 9th found no wrongful impairment of the defendant’s entrapment by estoppel defense. Evidence was kept out because it was hearsay. 

Hard fought appeal by Alexandra Yates of the FPD Cal Central (Los Angeles).

The decision is here:

2. US v. Franklin, No. 17-30011 (9-13-18)(Berlin w/Thacker & Hirwitz).

The 9th holds that Washington’s broad accomplice liability statute renders its drug trafficking law broader than generic “federal drug trafficking” and hence is not a serious drug offense” under ACCA. The 9th follows the interpretation used in Valdivisa-Flores, 876 F.3d 1201 (9th Cir 2017) for “aggravated felonies.”

Congrats to CJA Davina Chen.

The decision is here: