Monday, September 05, 2022

1. US v. Latu, No. 19-10069 (Nguyen w/Wardlaw & Owens). The 9th affirms a conviction for Assault resulting in serious bodily injury that occurred at a federal detention center. The victim, also a detainee, refused to testify. His statements as to the injuries and pain came in, over a Crawford confrontation objection, because the statements fit into a hearsay exception (medical treatment) and they were given in medical treatment as opposed to questioning or law enforcement. This was true even though the medical nurse was a BOP employee. The primary purpose was treatment for traumatic injuries and medical care. Of note, the 9th emphatically states it is not adopting a categorical rule or presumption that all statements to medical staff or during treatment is admissible and not Crawford barred. The 9th emphasizes sometimes, the statements are testimonial and subject to Crawford. The factors here are the role of the nurse (treatment and not questioning), the trauma, and the informality.


2. Wright v. Alaska, No. 19-35543 (8-31-22)(Murguia w/Nelson; concurrence by Rawlinson). Custody on a failure to register as a sex offender charge  is not “custody” for habeas jurisdiction to challenge underlying state convictions that gave rise to the requirement to register. The Supreme Court dealt with the argument in Alaska v. Wright, 141 S. Ct 1467 (2021). Petitioner’s attempt here to argue a “restraint-on-liberty” condition by registration also fails. He was not in custody. Rawlinson concurs, stating the Court’s per curium decision dealt with both theories and the “rehash’ in this opinion was not necessary.


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