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Criminal and Personal Injury Cases

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By FindLaw Staff on February 26, 2010 11:25 AM

The Ninth Circuit decided two criminal cases and one personal injury matter.

In US v. Garrido, No. 08-10398, the Ninth Circuit affirmed defendant's drug and firearm possession conviction, on the ground that the district court did not err under Fed. R. Evid. 701 and 702 by allowing lay witnesses to testify that defendant used a gun during the robbery.  However, the court vacated defendant's sentence where the district court erred when it concluded that it had no legal authority to consider a reduction for acceptance of responsibility after defendant failed to plead guilty and contested the charge that he used and carried a firearm.

Kode v. Carlson, No. 08-36056, was a personal injury action in which the jury rendered a verdict for defendant.  The court of appeals vacated the judgment because the district court did not weigh the substantiality of the evidence presented to the jury in denying plaintiff's motion for a new trial, and the record did not demonstrate that it would necessarily be an abuse of discretion, or beyond the pale, for the district court to determine that the clear weight of the evidence required damages of at least one dollar, and that a new trial was required.

In Doody v. Schriro, No. 06-17161, a murder prosecution, the court of appeals reversed the denial of petitioner's habeas petition where: 1) the Miranda advisement provided to petitioner, which consumed twelve pages of transcript and completely obfuscated the core precepts of Miranda, was inadequate; and 2) nearly thirteen hours of relentless overnight questioning of a sleep-deprived teenager by a tag team of officers overbore the will of petitioner, rendering his confession involuntary.

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