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9th Circuit Vacates Conviction for Felon in Possession of Firearm

USA v. James Allen, II Docket: 21-10060, Opinion Date: May 16, 2022. In July 2020, during the heart of the COVID pandemic, Defendant was arrested and charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. Defendant's case went to trial no long after his arrest, when the district court's COVID procedures were still in effect. More specifically, the Northern District of California imposed a restriction stating only "persons who have been authorized by a judge or the Clerk of Court may enter courthouse property." However, the district court judge overseeing Defendant's motion to suppress and trial imposed additional restrictions, disallowing any member of the public from entering the courtroom and instead streamed live audio over the internet. Defendant objected, citing a violation of his right to a public trial. The district court rejected Defendant's challenge, and a jury convicted him.

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