9th Circ. Grants Smuggling Retrial Over Destroyed Evidence

Law360, New York (May 7, 2013, 7:36 PM EDT) -- Criminal defendants who are prejudiced by the government's destruction of evidence are entitled to a remedial jury instruction but not necessarily an outright dismissal of their case, the Ninth Circuit ruled Tuesday, ordering a retrial for a convicted Mexican man accused of drug smuggling.

A three-judge panel said that the U.S. acted negligently in auctioning defendant Victor Hugo Sivilla's Jeep vehicle, which was a main piece of evidence in his drug smuggling trial. While the government did not act in bad faith in destroying the evidence,...
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