The Ninth Circuit re-states its "abuse of discretion" standard of review, which now requires it to: 1) consider whether the district court identified the correct legal standard for decision of the issue before it; and 2) determine whether the district court's findings of fact, and its application of those findings of fact to the correct legal standard, were illogical, implausible, or without support in inferences that could be drawn from facts in the record. Defendant's murder for hire conviction is affirmed where, applying the re-stated standard, the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying defendant's motion for a new trial.
Argued and Submitted December 16, 2008\
Filed November 5, 2009
Opinion by Judge Bea
Dissent by Judge B. Fletcher
John F. De Pue and Michael D. Taxay, Department of Justice, Washington, DC