Thursday, September 17, 2020

US v. Qazi, No. 18-10483 (9-17-20)(Hunsaker w/Cook & Wardlaw). The defendant, pro se, challenges the indictment charging him as a prohibited possessor of a firearm for failure to contain an essential element. The 9th agrees that under Rehaif v US, 139 S. Ct. 2191 (2019)(knowledge of felony status), the indictment omitted the knowledge requirement. Under circuit precedent, US v. Du Bo, 186 F.3d 1177 (9th Cir. 1999), the indictment must be dismissed as structural error. The 9th comments that the defendant, proceeding pro se, challenged the statute pre-Rehaif broadly for failing to state all the elements. If he had counsel, the challenge would likely not have occurred under precedent. Who knows? The pro se challenge was broad, and because it is pro se, needs to be liberally construed.

This opinion notes (n.1) that the 9th’s structural error Du Bo rule conflicts with other circuits, which employ a harmless analysis.

The decision is here:


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