S.Ct. 710] Argued November 30, 2015
WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR
THE FIFTH CIRCUIT
S.Ct. 711] [193 L.Ed.2d 643] Petitioner Musacchio resigned as
president of Exel Transportation Services (ETS) in 2004, but
with help from the former head of ETS's
information-technology department, he accessed ETS's
computer system without ETS's authorization through early
2006. In November 2010, Musacchio was indicted under 18
U.S.C. § 1030(a)(2)(C), which makes it a crime if a
person " intentionally accesses a computer without
authorization or exceeds authorized access" and
thereby " obtains . . . information from any protected
computer." (Emphasis added.) He was charged in count 1
with conspiring to commit both types of improper access and
in count 23 with making unauthorized access " [o]n or
about" November 24, 2005. In a 2012 superseding
indictment, count 1 dropped the charge of conspiracy to
exceed authorized access, and count 2 changed count 23's
date to " [o]n or about" November 23-25, 2005.
Musacchio never argued in the trial court that his
prosecution violated the 5-year statute of limitations
applicable to count 2. See § 3282(a). At trial, the
Government did not object when the District Court instructed
the jury that § 1030(a)(2)(C) " makes it a crime .
. . to intentionally access a computer without authorization
and exceed authorized access" (emphasis added),
even though the conjunction " and" added an
additional element. The jury found Musacchio guilty on [193
L.Ed.2d 644] counts 1 and 2. On appeal, he challenged the
sufficiency of the evidence supporting his conspiracy
conviction and argued, for the first time, that his
prosecution on count 2 was barred by § 3282(a)'s
statute of limitations. In affirming his conviction, the
Fifth Circuit assessed Musacchio's sufficiency challenge
against the charged elements of the conspiracy count rather
than against the heightened jury instruction, and it
concluded that he had waived his statute-of-limitations
defense by failing to raise it at trial.
sufficiency challenge should be assessed against the elements
of the charged crime, not against the elements set forth in
an erroneous jury instruction. Sufficiency review essentially
addresses whether the Government's case was strong enough
to reach the jury. A reviewing court conducts a limited
inquiry tailored to ensuring that a defendant receives the
minimum required by due process: a " meaningful
opportunity to defend" against the charge against him
and a jury finding of guilt " beyond a reasonable
doubt." Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U.S.
307, 314-315, 99 S.Ct. 2781, 61 L.Ed.2d 560. It does this by
considering only the " legal" question "
whether, after viewing the evidence in the light most
favorable to the prosecution, any rational trier of
fact could [136 S.Ct. 712] have found the essential elements
of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt." Id.,
at 319, 99 S.Ct. 2781, 61 L.Ed.2d 560. A reviewing
court's determination thus does not rest on how the jury
was instructed. The Government's failure to introduce
evidence of an additional element does not implicate these
principles, and its failure to object to a heightened jury
instruction does not affect sufficiency review. Because
Musacchio does not dispute that he was properly charged with
conspiracy to obtain unauthorized access or that the evidence
was sufficient to convict him of the charged crime, the Fifth
Circuit correctly rejected his sufficiency challenge. Pp.
defendant cannot successfully raise § 3282(a)'s
statute-of-limitations bar for the first time on appeal. Pp.
time bar is jurisdictional only if Congress has "
clearly state[d]" that it is. Sebelius v.
Auburn Regional Medical Center, 568 U.S. ___, ___,
133 S.Ct. 817, 819, 184 L.Ed.2d 627,632. Here, the "
text, context, and relevant historical treatment" of
§ 3282(a), Reed Elsevier, Inc. v.
Muchnick, 559 U.S. 154, 166, 130 S.Ct. 1237, 176
L.Ed.2d 18, establish that it imposes a nonjurisdictional
defense that becomes part of a case only if a defendant
raises it in the district court. The provision does not
expressly refer to subject-matter jurisdiction or speak in
jurisdictional terms. It thus stands in marked contrast to
§ 3231, which speaks squarely to federal courts'
general criminal subject-matter " jurisdiction" and
does not " conditio[n] its jurisdictional grant on"
compliance with § 3282(a)'s statute of limitations.
Id., at 165, 166, 130 S.Ct. 1237, 176 L.Ed.2d 18.
The history of § 3282(a)'s limitations bar further
confirms that the provision does not impose a jurisdictional
limit. See United States v. Cook, 84 U.S.
168, 17 Wall. 168, 181, 21 L.Ed. 538; Smith v.
United States, 568 U.S. ___, ___, 133 S.Ct. 714,
720, 184 L.Ed.2d 570, 578. Pp. 8-10.
Because § 3282(a) does not impose [193 L.Ed.2d 645] a
jurisdictional limit, the failure to raise the defense at or
before trial is reviewable on appeal--if at all--only for
plain error. A district court's failure to enforce an
unraised limitations defense under § 3282(a) cannot be a
plain error, however, because if a defendant fails to press
the defense, it does not become part of the case and, thus,
there is no error for an appellate court to correct. Pp.
Fed.Appx. 359, affirmed.
Jaffe argued the cause for petitioner.
Martinez argued the cause for respondent.
case, the Government failed to object to a jury instruction
that erroneously added an element that it had to prove, [136
S.Ct. 713] and petitioner failed to press a
statute-of-limitations defense until his appeal. We address
two questions arising from the parties' failures to raise
timely challenges. We first consider how a court should
assess a challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence in a
criminal case when a jury instruction adds an element to the
charged crime and the Government fails to object. We conclude
that the sufficiency of the evidence should be assessed
against the elements of the charged crime. We next consider
whether the statute-of-limitations ...