"A panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (Tenth Circuit) recently upheld the murder conviction of a defendant who the court conceded had been 'convicted of a crime that is not a crime.' The case, United States v. Melgar-Cabrera, is the product of extradition and an underappreciated landmark Supreme Court decision, Apprendi v. New Jersey. Melgar-Cabrera began when the defendant and two cohorts robbed a Denny's restaurant and killed a waitress. They were charged with three offenses: (1) robbery in violation of the Hobbs Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1951; (2) using a firearm in relation to a crime of violence, 18 U.S.C. § 924(c); and (3) murder committed during the Section 924(c) firearms offense, 18 U.S.C. § 924(j). Before he could be tried, the defendant fled to El Salvador. Salvadoran authorities agreed to his extradition, but only under the Hobbs Act and the murder charges. They denied extradition on the Section 924(c) firearms charge."
CRS Legal Sidebar, LSB10161