Eric Baird

Dimaya Sentence Reductions via §2255

The Sentence Reduction Potential of Dimaya and Johnson On April 17, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States published an opinion in an immigration case called Sessions v. Dimaya. This case caused waves because the left-leaning justices split with right-leaning justices evenly at 4-4 and the deciding vote was the freshman justice Gorsuch. In …

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Federal Sentencing Explained in Plain English

Federal Sentencing Primer After a plea deal is signed, which happens in well over 90% of federal criminal prosecutions, the next phase in a case is sentencing. Most first-time offenders really don’t know exactly how this sentencing is done or considered by federal courts, prosecutors, and judges. While defense attorney’s are supposed to do a …

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28 U.S.C. 2255 Example – A Double Edged Sword

When it Works, Sometimes it Doesn’t In our continuing exploration of 28 U.S.C. §2255 cases, the practice of federal habeas appeals never ceases to be amazing. And confusing. Take, for instance, the case of Howard Handa. 1 United States v. Handa, 122 F.3d 690, (9th Cir. 1997) In this case, defendant Handa was sentenced for …

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Direct Appeal Issues in Federal Court – Plain Error vs. Abuse of Discretion

There are lots of issues that can be raised on direct appeal from an original sentencing hearing or trial. Too many than can be established in one blog post. Lawyers who practice in federal courts spend years litigating cases and studying law at the district level and sometimes at the appeal level. This post gets …

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The 2016 Guidelines Manual Amendments

Today, the 2016 amendments to the United States Sentencing Commission’s Guidelines Manual go live. The topics of this year’s adjustments are: Compassionate Release from Prison; Animal Fighting; Child Pornography Circuit Conflicts; Immigration; and, Conditions of Probation and Supervised Release. Obviously, here we’ll be focusing on the Conditions of Probation and Supervised release, with some later …

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