Criminal and Immigration Matters - U.S. Ninth Circuit
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Criminal and Immigration Matters

The Ninth Circuit decided two cases today, one concerning a habeas petition in a murder prosecution, and the other involving an immigration issue.

In Christian v. Frank, No. 08-17236, defendant was convicted of murder in state court and filed a habeas petition, claiming that the state trial court wrongly excluded an allegedly exculpatory confession at trial.  The district court granted the petition.

The Ninth Circuit reversed, holding that the excluded testimony at issue was materially less trustworthy than the excluded testimony in Chambers.

In Alvarez-Reynaga v. Holder, No. 08-70253, the BIA issued an order removing petitioner from the U.S. based on his felony conviction for receipt of a stolen vehicle in violation of section 496d(a) of the California Penal Code.  Petitioner filed a petition for review of the BIA's order.

The court of appeals denied the petition, holding that 1) a conviction under section 496d(a) qualified categorically as a conviction for an aggravated felony; and 2) a conviction under such statute did not categorically constitute a crime involving moral turpitude.

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