In Seabrooks v. United States, No. 20-13459 (May 6, 2022) (Wilson, Rosenbaum, Conway (MD Fla.)) (per curiam), the Court reversed the denial of a 2255 motion based on Rehaif, vacated the felon-in-possession conviction, and remanded for further proceedings.
The Court issued three holdings. First, it agreed with the parties that Rehaif announced a new “substantive” rule, and so it applied retroactively in initial 2255 motions. Second, it held that Seabrooks’ Rehaif claim was not “procedurally barred” by his failure to raise that claim on direct appeal, since Rehaif was an intervening change in law. And the government waived any argument about “procedural default” by failing to raise that defense in the district court. Third, the Court held that the district court’s aiding and abetting instruction, which was erroneous in light of Rosemond and Rehaif, was not harmless because there was more than a reasonable probability that the jury relied on that theory to convict.
Major congrats to Brenda on this win!