United States v. Becerra, No. 17-30050 (9th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
Under Guam v. Marquez, 963 F.2d 1311 (9th Cir. 1992), it is structural error not to instruct the jury orally as to the entire substantive law the jury must apply. The Ninth Circuit reversed defendant's drug-related conviction and remanded for a new trial, holding that the trial judge plainly erred by failing to deliver an oral charge to the jury in this case. The panel explained that a trial court does not satisfy its duty to instruct jurors in a criminal case just by providing those jurors with a set of written instructions to use during deliberations. Therefore, the panel remanded for a new trial.