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

September 23, 2022
Fourth Circuit Holds that Procedural and Substantive Reasonableness Applies to 404 Resentencing: Swain

United States v. Swain, No. 21-6167 (4th Cir. 2022) Swain was eligible for a sentence reduction under section 404(b) of the First Step Act. After filing his motion, U.S. Probation determined that Swain’s Guidelines dropped from 324 to 405 months down to 262 to 327 months. Swain further argued that his Guidelines should be 210 […]

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September 23, 2022
Eighth Circuit Vacates Career Sentence and Reconsiders Prior Opinion about Attempted Use of Force: Fraizer

Facts:  Repeat Offender Sentenced As Career Offender For Prior "Crime of Violence" Frazier was sentenced to a term of 240 months imprisonment after the district court determined him to be a career offender under U.S.S.G. 4B1.1. On appeal, Frazier argued that his Iowa conviction for Intimidation with a Dangerous Weapon was not a “crime of […]

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September 23, 2022
Ninth Circuit Remands For Resentencing and Consideration of Minor Role Adjustment: Rodriguez

FACTS:  Rodriguez Accused of Drug Smuggling, Denied Minor Role Reduction by Court In August 2020, Rodriguez was asked if he was willing to smuggle drugs into the United States in return for a few thousand dollars. Rodriguez agreed and was provided with drugs already loaded into it and instructed to cross the border and await […]

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August 26, 2022
Tenth Circuit Throws Out Warrantless Search of Backpack: Johnson

Facts:  Warantless Search of Backpack, Motion to Suppress Denied in District Court Johnson was arrested following an encounter on a Greyhound bus with law enforcement. Officers discovered two packages of methamphetamine in Johnson’s backpack, and Johnson gave some incriminating statements. In the district court, Johnson moved to suppress the physical evidence and his statements. The […]

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August 26, 2022
First Circuit Orders New Trial After Lawyer's Conflict of Interest: Sheperd

Facts: Sheperd's defense counsel also represented government's star witness. Sheperd was convicted in the district court for Medicare fraud. On appeal before the Fifth Circuit, Sheperd argued her Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel had been violated after it was discovered Sheperd’s pretrial counsel also represented one of the government’s star witnesses. The […]

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August 20, 2022
Sentencing Commission Publishes Study about Recidivism in Offenders

The U.S. Sentencing Commission published the latest report from its recent series on recidivism of federal offenders released in 2010. About the Study (Published September 30, 2021)  This report is the first in a series continuing the Commission’s research of the recidivism of federal offenders. It provides an overview of the recidivism of federal offenders released […]

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August 18, 2022
First Circuit Vacates Conviction After Finding Trial Court Erred in Limiting Expert Testimony: Soler

FACTS:  Expert Testimony Limited, then Soler Convicted At Trial After a four-day trial, Soler was found guilty of attempting persuade, induce, or entice a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity. At trial, Soler sought to present testimony from an expert with a Ph.D in clinical psychology and who is a Board-certified psychologist working at […]

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August 12, 2022
Eighth Circuit Reverses District Court's Improper Denial of Government's Motion to Dismiss Counts: Bernard

United States v. Bernard, No. 21-3412 (8th Cir. 2022) Bernard was charged in a five-count indictment with multiple crimes including robbery under 18 U.S.C. 2111. Bernard was offered a plea agreement wherein she could plead guilty to the one count of robbery in exchange for dismissal of the remaining four charges. Consistent with the plea […]

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August 11, 2022
Sentencing Commission Publishes Study about Recidivism in Drug Offenders

The U.S. Sentencing Commission published the latest report from its recent series on recidivism of federal drug trafficking offenders released in 2010. About the Sentencing Commission Study "[The study was] third in a series continuing the Commission’s research of the recidivism of federal offenders. It provide[d] an overview of the recidivism of the 13,783 federal drug […]

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August 10, 2022
Seventh Circuit Vacates Sentence on Conflicting Findings in Davis

Conflicting findings result in Seventh Circuit vacating sentence in Davis. Davis Charged with Felon in Possession Davis Tosses  Handgun In June 2019, Chicago police were dispatched to investigate a report of shots fired. When officers arrived on the scene, they saw two cars had just collided. One of the cars had a bullet hole in […]

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