Sunday, October 11, 2009

PC World

This set of per curiam decisions deals with mes rea elements.

In United States v. Romero-Padilla, No. 08-1817-cr (2d Cir. October 7, 2009) (Calabresi, Cabranes, Hall, CJJ), the court held that 21 U.S.C. § 959(a), a drug importation statute, requires the government to prove that the defendant actually, as opposed to constructively, knew that a controlled substance he distributed or manufactured would be illegally imported into the United States.

United States v. Grandt, No. 08-1834-cr (2d Cir. October 1, 2009) (Parker, Wesley, CJJ, Murtha, DJ), looked at 18 U.S.C. § 2421, one of the provisions of the Mann Act. This section makes it a crime to "knowingly" transport an individual in interstate commerce with the intent that the individual engage in prostitution. Under Flores-Figueroa v. United States, 129 S.Ct. 1886 (2008), the district court should have charged the jury that it had to find that defendants knew that individuals were being transported for prostitution.


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