United States Ninth Circuit

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US v. Valdez-Novoa, 12-50336

Defendant's conviction for attempting to enter the United States without consent after having been previously removed under 8 U.S.C. section 1326(a) is affirmed, where: 1) in the underlying immigration proceedings, defendant was not denied due process because the Immigration Judge's (IJ) determination that he had been convicted of an aggravated felony was not contrary to precedent at the time the removal order was issued and was the product of a reasonable reading of the statute; 2) because defendant had been convicted of an aggravated felony, he was statutorily ineligible for voluntary departure, and the IJ was under no obligation to inform him of the existence of such relief for the proceedings to comport with due process; and 3) even if the IJ should have informed the defendant of his apparent eligibility for voluntary departure, defendant was not prejudiced by the error so the removal order was not fundamentally unfair under 8 U.S.C. section 1326(d)(3); and 4) the conviction based on the defendant’s videotaped confession does not run afoul of the corpus delicti doctrine because ample record evidence corroborates defendant's confession to the gravamen of the offense and establishes the trustworthiness of his statement.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 07/28/2014
  • Published 07/28/2014




  • United States Ninth Circuit