The United States government (plaintiff) charged Adan Pineda-Doval (defendant) with 10 counts of smuggling illegal aliens, resulting in death, thereby violating the felony-murder provisions of 8 U.S.C. § 1324. The trial evidence established that Pineda-Doval crossed into the United States in a Chevrolet Suburban overcrowded with 10 illegal aliens and equipped with no passenger seatbelts. A Border Patrol officer spotted Pineda-Doval and gave chase. Pineda-Doval turned the Suburban around and raced back toward Mexico. The officer radioed for help, and another officer laid a spike strip across Pineda-Doval's escape route to puncture and deflate the Suburban's tires and force it to halt. Pineda-Doval had encountered such devices on two previous smuggling expeditions. Pineda-Doval saw the strip and immediately warned his passengers to say their prayers. He deliberately and sharply swerved to avoid the strip, but his rear tire hit a spike and blew out. The Suburban swayed and flipped over twice, ejecting and killing all the passengers. The judge instructed the jury that, to convict Pineda-Doval, they had to find that he exposed his passengers to at least one life-threatening condition that was a cause of their deaths. The jury convicted Pineda-Doval. On appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, he contended that the judge's instruction erroneously failed to add that his smuggling must have been the proximate cause of the deaths.