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Criminal and Immigration Matters

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By FindLaw Staff on April 12, 2010 11:48 AM

Hein v. Sullivan, No. 07-56277, involved a murder prosecution in which the district court denied petitioners' habeas petition.  The Ninth Circuit affirmed, holding that, in light of the record from the two-month-long jury trial, an undisclosed letter from the state to an eyewitness promising not to prosecute him for his drug dealing activities was not the decisively impeaching evidence petitioners made it out to be, and thus petitioners failed to establish the prejudice required to overturn their convictions.

Lopez-Jacinde v. Holder, No. 07-72046, concerned a petition for review of the BIA's decision that held that petitioner's state felony conviction for possession of pseudoephedrine with intent to manufacture methamphetamine was a "drug trafficking crime" which constituted an "aggravated felony" under federal law, rendering petitioner statutorily ineligible for cancellation of removal.  The Ninth Circuit denied the petition, on the grounds that 1) use of a firearm was not required for a state conviction to constitute an aggravated felony as a "drug trafficking crime"; and 2) the federal crime corresponding to Cal. Health & Safety Code section 11383(c)(1) did not require possession of a minimum amount of pseudoephedrine.

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