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Name: Pulido v. Chrones
Case #: 05-15916
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 12/21/2010

Errors in jury instructions were not prejudicial. The case came before the Ninth Circuit after the U.S. Supreme Court remanded for a determination of whether errors in the jury instructions were prejudicial. In the first habeas decision the court had held the instructional error was structural error requiring reversal per se, but the high court instructed the standard to be applied was whether there was a “substantial and injurious effect or influence” on the verdict. Under this standard, the court found the instructional error harmless in light of the totality of the instructions given and the state of the evidence. Although the jury asked a series of questions about the jury instructions, the majority held the questions did not impact the instructional errors at issue.