United States v Pauler

Paler appealed his conviction for possessing a firearm after misdemeanor domestic violence conviction. The panel reversed and remanded with instructions to vacate conviction and sentence and dismiss the indictment. It held that 18 USC 922(a)(g(9) only applies to conviction under federal, state or tribal law, municipal ordinances are bought into the firearms statute through the phrase “State or local” and thus Pauler’s conviction for violating a municipal ordinance does not trigger the prohibition and the conviction must be vacated.

United States v Petty

Petty appealed his convictions for assault of corrections officers arguing the reasonable doubt instruction was unconstitutional. The panel affirmed. It held that circuit precedent has approved the formulation of being firmly convinced as an adequate definition of the burden of proof, the phrasing that the government was only required to exclude reasonable doubt was part of the correct instruction that beyond a reasonable doubt does not mean proof that overcomes all doubt and the instructions as a whole let the jury know that a failure of proof requires acquittal.