Entries by Jeremy Gordon

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Hope for Sick and Aging Inmates?

Did you know that – largely due to the use of ‘mandatory minimum sentences’ over the past 30 years – elderly prisoners are the fastest-growing segment of the Federal Prison population? According to the Bureau of Justice, from 1999 to 2016, the number of inmates in state and federal prisons who were 55 years or […]

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The First Step Act: An Explainer

The FIRST STEP Act makes changes to the way that “good time” is assessed by the Bureau of Prisons, retroactively applies the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, Reauthorizes the Second Chance Act, allows inmates to petition the court for compassionate release, bans the shackling of women during child birth, adds “sunlight” provisions to parts of these bills and several other things. This explainer will discuss a majority of portions of the Act.

Fifth Circuit Holds That Sentencing Guidelines Error can Meet Plain Error Analysis

In United States vs. Qunitero,  No. 17-20727 the Fifth Circuit held that an error in the sentencing guidelines could meet the plain error analysis. Quintero pled guilty to illegally re-entering the U.S. He wasoriginally scheduled for sentencing under the 2015 Guidelines, but was delayedto December after the 2016 Guidelines Manual had gone into effect. Quintero […]

The Community Safety and Security Act of 2018: Does It Spell More Trouble for Immigrants in the U.S.?

In the Wake of Dimaya, Congress Creates a Sweeping Definition of a “Crime of Violence” A recent op-ed in the New York Times characterizes the ideology of “America First” as having three pillars – isolationism, protectionism, and restricting immigration. The third pillar is on full display in Congress’s new bill in response to the United […]

SIXTH CIRCUIT FINDS CORRECTED SENTENCE ILLEGAL AND UNREASONABLE

SIXTH CIRCUIT FINDS CORRECTED SENTENCE ILLEGAL AND UNREASONABLE United States vs. Nichols, No. 17-5580 Nichols was convicted for felon in possession of a firearm in 2004. While the maximum for that offense is ten years imprisonment, he was enhanced under the Armed Career Criminal Act and received a sentence of 288 months. While in prison, […]

ROSALES-MIRELES v. UNITED STATES – CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT

No. 16–9493. Argued February 21, 2018—Decided June 18, 2018 Each year, district courts sentence thousands of individuals to imprisonment for violations of federal law. To help ensure certainty and fairness in those sentences, federal district courts are required to consider the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines. Prior to sentencing, the United States Probation Office prepares […]

Third Circuit Vacates Sentence Based on Plain Error

In United States vs. Aminov. No. 17-1703, the Third Circuit reversed a sentence based on plain error. Aminov was sentenced in 2011 for aiding and abetting in the production of a document without lawful authority. The PSI recommended a Sentencing Guidelines range of 0-6 months instead of the government’s suggested range of 12-16 months. Aminov was […]

Fifth Circuit Vacates Sentence Enhancement Under 16(b) Because of Dimaya

United States of America v. Jose Prisciliano Gracia-Cantu, No. 15-40227, 2018 WL 2068684 Gracia-Cantu pled guilty to being an alien unlawfully present in the United States after previously being deported. He also had a prior conviction for Assault Family Violence under Texas Penal Code 22.01(a)(1) and 22.01(b)(2). The presentence report recommended an eight level increase […]