Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law

OSJCL Amici Board of Advisors

OSJCL Amici: Views from the Field

Waddington v. Sarausad

  • Decided on January 21, 2009.
  • Background: Cesar Sarausad, the defendant, drove the car in a drive-by shooting in which another passenger shot and killed a teenager. The defendant was convicted of second-degree murder based on an accomplice-liability theory “in for a dime, in for a dollar.” The defendant argued that the court erred by allowing the prosecutor to use this theory, because it could have led the jury to convict him by finding that he had simply anticipated that an assault would occur.
  • Holding: The Ninth Circuit erred by granting habeas relief to the defendant because the state court decision did not result in an “unreasonable application of clearly established federal law.” The state courts’ conclusion that the jury instruction was unambiguous had not been objectively unreasonable.



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