Cabeda v. AG USA

In Cabeda v. AG USA, the 3rd Circuit utilized the “categorical approach” to determine whether and how a conviction under state law will have consequences under federal law, specifically in the context of immigration. The Court first noted that Supreme Court precedent dictates that the Court is not to “look . . . to the facts of the particular . . . case, but instead to whether the state statute defining the crime of conviction categorically fits within the generic federal definition of a corresponding aggravated felony.” The Court ruled that there was not a categorical match between the Pennsylvania statutes for involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and the generic federal offense of sexual abuse of a minor. The critical difference is in the mens rea requirements – the state offense can be committed recklessly, whereas the federal generic crime requires a knowing mental state with regard to the sexual conduct.