U.S. v. Bangoura
The 2nd Circuit can correct an error that was not raised at trial, if: 1.) there was an error; 2.) the error is clear or obvious; 3.) the error concerns substantial rights; and 4.) the error seriously affects the fairness, integrity or public reputation of the court. The government claimed that the defendant, Mohamed Bangoura, entered in a pretend marriage and submitted fraudulent documents to the Citizenship and Immigration Service. Bangoura was convicted and appealed to the 2nd Circuit. During trial Bangoura did not object to a jury instruction. The 2nd Circuit reviewed for plain error. In his appeal, Bangoura claimed that the jury could only rely on evidence about the pretend marriage and submission of fraudulent documents if the jury found, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Bangoura committed that conduct. The 2nd Circuit found that Bangoura did not prove plain error. "The jury," wrote the 2nd Circuit, "was repeatedly instructed that each element of the charged conduct had to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt." The law, added the 2nd Circuit, "does not require that each subordinate fact offered to prove the charged conduct meet the reasonable doubt standard." The 2nd Circuit affirmed the judgment of the District Court, Chatigny, J.