United States v. Chi Mak

683 F.3d 1126 (2012)

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United States v. Chi Mak

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
683 F.3d 1126 (2012)

RW

Facts

The Arms Export Control Act (AECA) prohibited the unlicensed export of government-designated defense articles and related data. The United States government prosecuted Chi Mak (defendant) for violating the AECA and its implementing regulations by willfully stealing and attempting to smuggle into China technical documents relating to submarine antidetection devices. Mak was a senior defense-contractor engineer with extensive training in government export-control requirements. At trial, the district court instructed the jury to consider Mak’s criminal intent in light of the totality of the circumstances. The jury found Mak guilty, and the trial court denied Mak’s motion for a new trial. Mak appealed to the Ninth Circuit, where Mak argued that (1) the AECA imposed an overbroad prior restraint on Mak’s First Amendment right to free expression, (2) the trial court’s jury instruction denied Mak his Sixth Amendment right to a meaningful defense, and (3) the government violated the Ex Post Facto Clause because the specific documents Mak stole were not certified as controlled documents until months after Mak’s indictment.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Smith, J.)

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