United States

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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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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Federal Supervised Release is not Punishment

The Seventh Circuit on Federal Supervised Release A few years ago, the Seventh Circuit published an order clearly showing their views on the imposition and purpose of federal supervised release. That circuit is back at it again with an opinion regarding three separate cases, challenging their supervised release conditions. 1U.S. vs. Kappes, U.S. vs. Crisp, …

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AG Holder Remarks on Criminal Justice Reform

While United States Attorney General Eric Holder announced six months ago that he would be leaving his office, he is still serving and waiting for his replacement to be confirmed and take control of the US Department of Justice. In the meantime, he has not let up on his belief that criminal justice reform is …

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Marijuana Legalization, Coram Nobis, and Federal Felonies

Legalized Pot An interesting question arose for PCR Consultants the other day. With the growing trend the United States these days to legalize pot, what would happen if the federal government actually gave up the Weed branch of its War on Drugs. Plenty of people believe that locking up citizens in the US for simple …

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US Sentencing Commission Holds Important Public Hearings

February U.S.S.C. Public Hearings February is set to be a significant month in the world of the United States federal sentencing. The US Sentencing Commission has announced two public hearings regarding big sentencing issues involving federal criminal justice. The first hearing, announced Wednesday, is all about federal Child Pornography sentencing. A huge public reaction has …

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Supreme Court Grants Cert. to FSA Pipeline Issue

Hill v. United States (11-5721) Fair Sentencing Act and Crack Cocaine cases before and after its implementation are going to get their day in the Supreme Court! Great news today from the United States Supreme Court. With a split in Circuit Court decisions regarding application of Crack Cocaine Sentencing Guideline reductions from the Fair Sentencing …

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