Tuesday, September 20, 2005

U.S. v. Cervantes-Flores (9th Cir. - Aug. 24, 2005)

I'm not going to complain about the panel's opinion, which I think rightly affirms the conviction here. (Though the Crawford/confrontation issue about the testimonial nature of a "no records" declaration is one about which I think reasonable minds could definitely disagree).

There are a variety of alternative ways to view the underlying events of the case. Which are these. In 1998, Roberto Cervantes-Flores is found in the United States and convicted of improper entry by an alien and sentenced to 4 years in prison. After he's served his time, in January 2003, he's deported from Hidalgo, Texas. One week later, a border patrol agent catches him in the United States again, this time in Tecate, California. He's then convicted (again) and, this time, sentenced to 8 years in prison. So, in essence, Cervantes-Flores will spend 12 years in prison in the United States for entering this country illegally.

Which of the following is the best caption for this factual summary:
A. "The Price of Secure Borders"
B. "Our Tax Dollars Hard at Work"
C. "Oh, The Humanity"
D. "Better Him Than Me"

This question is not likely to be on the SAT anytime soon. But it's an informative one.