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CA Prisoner's Convictions for Conspiracy to Smuggle Drugs Vacated for Bad Jury Instructions

Jaime Jasso, a California state prisoner, made several phone calls to someone outside of prison named Ruben. Guards monitored those calls and discovered that their purpose was for Passo to give Ruben directions for obtaining drugs and supplying them to three different women for delivery to three prisoners. The women were caught trying to visit the prisoners to deliver the drugs. Jasso was convicted of three counts of conspiracy to transport the drugs into the prison after the trial court gave jury instructions which did not include an instruction for a single, ongoing conspiracy. Jasso appealed.

On appeal, the Court of Appeal of California, 6th Appellate District, found that the jury might have found that the three incidents were the result of one agreement between Jasso and Ruben to smuggle the drugs. On that basis, Jasso's convictions were vacated and the case remanded to the trial court. See: California v. Jasso, 142 Cal.App.4th 1213, 48 Cal.Rptr.3d 697 (Cal.App. 6 Dist., 2006).

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Related legal case

California v. Jasso