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Category: Blog

From case law developments to perspectives to news, you'll find it here.

February 2, 2023
Multiple Sources Report Biden Ending COVID Emergency, CARES Act Ending Soon

The Story so Far:  The CARES Act Allowed Incarcerated Persons to go Home During the COVID Pandemic As you know, on January 31, 2020, then-Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar Declared a public health emergency. In March, Former President Trump declared the COVID pandemic a national emergency.  Congress, in turn, responded with passing the […]

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January 27, 2023
Second Circuit Orders New Trial Where Voir Dire Did not Screen for Bias: Nieves

Facts:  Court Rejects Nieves' voir dire Questions and holds Inadequate Jury Selection In May 2019, Nieves was indicted on four counts of witness retaliation and witness tampering offenses. Prior to trial, both sides proposed gang-related voir dire questions to screen for potential gang-related biases. Voir dire proceeded typically until the court announced it would begin peremptory […]

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January 27, 2023
Eighth Circuit Reverses Conviction Based on "No Further Prosecution" Clause: Thomas

United States v. Thomas, No. 21-3690 (8th Cir. 2023) Facts:  Defendant Signs Plea Agreement with "No Further Prosecution" Clause, is Further Prosecuted In May 2018, Thomas pled guilty in the Southern District of Iowa to one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin in violation of 21 U.S.C. 841, 846. In exchange for his guilty plea, […]

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January 24, 2023
Eighth Circuit finds Evidence at CP trial Insufficient: McCoy

Facts:  Hidden Camera, Debate About Explicit Conduct McCoy’s ex wife testified at trial that while collecting McCoy’s belongings in his closet, she found a flash drive.  McCoy’s brother also found a hidden camera while fixing a guest bathroom event. Inside the camera was a flash drive that had two videos of a minor.  Based on […]

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January 24, 2023
Mississippi District Court Deviates from Sentencing Guidelines in Methamphetamine Case:  Robinson

Facts:  Meth Case, Request to Deviate From Guidelines Robinson was charged with and pled guilty to possession with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine. He was found to be responsible for 214.4 grams. The purity of the meth in this case was between 96% and 97%.  He was accused of being caught […]

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January 20, 2023
Sixth Circuit Reverses Denial of Motion to Suppress: Grant

In United States v. Grant, 21-3686 (6th Cir. 2023) the Sixth Circuit reversed the denial of a motion to suppress. Facts:  Police Get Search Warrant Based on Scant Information Police officers in Ohio received an anonymous tip that Grant had supplied a large amount of cocaine. Several months later, police set up a controlled buy with […]

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January 6, 2023
Fourth Circuit Finds Insufficient Evidence to Support Conviction For Drug Analogue Possession: Belk

In July 2019, a jury found Belk guilty on several counts, including possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance analogue. On appeal before the Fourth Circuit, Belk argued-among other claims-that there was insufficient evidence for the jury to convict him of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance analogue. Belk argued on appeal […]

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December 16, 2022
Attorney General's Office Puts Forth Important Memoranda Concerning Charging of Offenses

I got a newsletter from the Washington Post earlier today about memoranda put out by the Attorney General concerning charging of offenses. After reading the report and finding the memoranda on Professor Berman's Sentencing Law and Policy blog and the Justice Department, it appears that the Garland Justice Department is going to make substantial changes […]

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December 16, 2022
Ninth Circuit Vacates Guilty Plea Based on Insufficient Factual Basis for Conspiracy

United States v. Shortman, No. 21-30198 (9th Cir. Dec. 8, 2022) Facts:  Shortman Pleads guilty to conspiracy charges, later alleges no factual basis. Shortman pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and one count of possession with intent to distribute. During the plea hearing, Shortman admitted that she […]

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December 16, 2022
Firearm Enhancement Reversed By Sixth Circuit Due to Insufficient Evidence of Constructive Possession

United States v. Wilson, No. 22-5068 (6th Cir. Dec. 6, 2022) Facts:  Rifle Found Under Wilson's Seat Along with Other Drugs In In April 2019, officers responded to a shoplifting call and saw three individuals matching the suspects’ description sitting in a truck. One suspect owned the truck and was sitting in the driver’s seat, […]

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