United States v. Collazo

 Brief of Amicus Curiae National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in Support of Defendants-Appellants.

Brief filed: 04/09/2020


United States v. Collazo

9th Circuit Court of Appeals; Case No. 15-50509, 16-50048, 16-50117, 16-50195, 16-50345

Prior Decision

Case below No. 3:13-cr-04514-BEN-7 (S.D. Cal.)


The presumption of mens rea is deeply rooted and has historically applied beyond merely distinguishing culpable from innocent conduct.  The mens rea requirement arose to ensure punishment was fair and proportional.  The mens rea requirement applies to offenders guilty of otherwise culpable conduct.  The presumption of mens rea contains only a narrow exception for public-welfare offenses.  The presumption of mens rea should apply to drug quantity and type under 21 U.S.C. § 841.


Jeffrey L. Fisher, O’Melveny & Myers LLP, Menlo Park, CA; Ashley Robertson, O’Melveny & Myers LLP, Washington, DC.

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