United States v. Rodriguez-Santos

The First Circuit affirmed Defendant’s conviction of aiding and abetting (1) a carjacking resulting in death, (2) kidnapping resulting in death, and (3) the use of a gun during a crime of violence resulting in murder (count three), holding that Defendant was not entitled to relief on his claims of error.

Specifically, the First Circuit held (1) the evidence was sufficient to support the convictions; (2) the district court did not err when it did not provide a jury instruction on duress; (3) the inclusion of a potentially invalid predicate offense in the jury’s finding that Defendant was guilty on count three was not a plain or obvious error, and even if it was error, it was harmless without any effect on Defendant’s substantial rights; and (4) as to Defendant’s sentence, the district court did not err when it failed to impose a downward departure based on duress and when it applied an enhancement for obstruction of justice.