United States v. Bauzo-Santiago, No. 15-1280 (1st Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
The district court did not err by admitting a letter Defendant wrote under Fed. R. Crim. P. 410, which prohibits the use of certain plea-bargain-related statements against a Defendant in later proceedings. The letter, which Defendant addressed to the judge presiding over his case, requested that the judge remove his counsel and also stated that Defendant accepted his “responsibility as to guilt.” The trial court permitted the government to admit a redacted version of the letter at trial. The First Circuit affirmed Defendant’s conviction and sentence, holding (1) the district court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the letter because the letter was admissible under the version of Rule 410 in effect today; (2) the district court’s end-of-trial judicial-notice jury instruction was not plain or obvious error; and (3) even if Defendant’s sentencing arguments were not waived, he did not show any clear or obvious error that impacted his substantial rights.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on August 10, 2017.