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Name: Nguyen v. Lindsey
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 11/30/2000
Subsequent History: None

During a shootout between two rival gangs, a bystander was killed. Nguyen was tried for murder, as was another defendant in a different trial. In the first trial, the prosecution introduced evidence that the first defendant, Phung, had fired the first shot. In Nguyen’s trial, the prosecution introduced Nguyen’s statement that someone in his car fired the first shot. The Court of Appeal found that it did not matter who fired the first shot because it was a case of voluntary mutual combat. The appellate court here upheld the denial of Nguyen’s state habeas petition. There was no prosecutorial misconduct merely because the evidence was somewhat different at each trial, since the prosecution’s theory during Nguyen’s trial was not inconsistent in any fundamental way. Both defendants could have been guilty of the same crime because of the nature of the crime. Nguyen’s right to due process of law was not violated.