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Bartlett v Alameida

5-10-2004 California:

Bartlett v Alameida
366 F.3d 1020 (2004)

William Louis Bartlett is a state prisoner serving a 25-year-to-life sentence for failing to re-register as a sex offender pursuant to California's sex offender registration statute, Cal. Pen.Code § 290(a)(1)(A). He contends, in his quest for a writ of habeas corpus, that his conviction violates due process because the state was not required to prove that he had knowledge of the lifelong duty to register. The district court denied Bartlett's petition. We have jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2253, and we reverse and remand.

... ... ...

Lambert required the state to prove that Bartlett knew or probably knew of his lifelong duty to register as a sex offender. The trial court erroneously instructed the jury that actual knowledge was not an element of the crime. Because this error was not harmless, and because the state court of appeal unreasonably determined that no Lambert error occurred, the district court erred by not granting Bartlett's petition for writ of habeas corpus. We reverse that decision and remand to the district court with instructions to grant the writ of habeas corpus unless the state grants Bartlett a new trial within sixty days of the issuance of this Court's mandate.

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