United States v. Perez-Melis, No. 16-41441 (5th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
The Fifth Circuit held that the district court did not plainly err when it questioned a witness during defendant's criminal trial. The court noted that, although the jury verdict convicting defendant of only one count of transporting aliens when there was no dispute that six aliens were in defendant's trailer was odd, the unusual circumstances in United States v. Saenz, 134 F.3d 697, 701 (5th Cir. 1998), was not present. In this case, the district court issued curative instructions to the jury, and to the extent the district court erred, if at all, it did not seriously affect the fairness, integrity, or public reputation of the judicial proceeding. The court vacated the final judgment and remanded to the district court to correct a clerical error.