United States v. Bautista, No. 19-10448 (9th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
The Ninth Circuit reversed defendant's sentence for possession of ammunition by a convicted felon. Defendant contends that the district court erred in applying a recidivist sentencing enhancement based on his prior state conviction for attempted transportation of marijuana under Arizona Revised Statutes 13-3405(A)(4).
The panel held that the district court's application of the six-level recidivist enhancement was plain error. The Arizona statute under which defendant was convicted included hemp in its definition of marijuana. However, in 2018, before defendant's federal conviction, Congress amended the Controlled Substances Act to exclude hemp from its definition of a controlled substance. Therefore, in 2019, when defendant was sentenced, the Arizona statute under which he had been convicted was overbroad and that conviction no longer qualified as a "controlled substance offense" under the Guidelines. Furthermore, the error affected defendant's substantial rights and allowing the error to go uncorrected would seriously affect the fairness, integrity, or public reputation of judicial proceedings. Accordingly, the panel remanded for resentencing.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on December 11, 2020.