Law Office of Jeremy Gordon Secures Reduction in Sentence
United States vs. Todd Daggs, E.D.LA 09-CR-166 (September 1, 2022), 2022 WL 4365880
We are pleased to report that we received a reduction in sentence for one of our clients serving a mandatory life sentence. As relevant here, Daggs was sentenced under 841(b)(1)(A) but also had two 851 enhancements for prior convictions where Daggs served less than a year in prison. At the time of Daggs’ sentencing, the 851 enhancements meant a mandatory life sentence for Daggs.
Daggs also had two convictions for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense. Daggs was sentenced under the pre-FIRST STEP Act sentencing laws and as such his sentence was 60 months for one of the firearm charges and 360 months for the other firearm charge, each to run consecutively to each other and all his other charges. This creates what is commonly referred to as “Life Plus 30” by those unfortunate enough to be convicted of such. (Note: Daggs had other convictions but these are convictions that were affected by the FIRST STEP Act.
Daggs hired the Law Office of Jeremy Gordon to represent him in a motion for reduction in sentence. We filed the motion arguing that post-FIRST STEP Act, the 851 enhancements were no longer valid, and Daggs’ sentence should be reduced to the mandatory minimum sentence for the drugs under 841(b)(1)(A), the 10 year mandatory minimum. We further argued that the 3553(a) factors warranted reduction, citing his reconciliation and support network. The government opposed the motion.
In April of 2021 the Fifth Circuit ruled on United States vs. Shkambi, No. 20-40543 (5th Cir. 2021), 2021 WL 1291609, where the 5th Circuit joined several other courts in holding that the United States Sentencing Commission has not yet issued a policy statement “applicable” to prisoner requests for sentence reductions. Post-Shkambi, the court ordered briefing by our office and by the government. We reiterated that the court could grant the reduction and that such a reduction was warranted. The government continued to oppose.
The court held a video conference hearing in this case. Daggs presented evidence about his rehabilitation and work with a church in his home area. The court also noted that Daggs has had a clear disciplinary history inside the prison currently. Again, the government argued that no reduction should be granted and that Daggs should die in prison.
The court noted that extraordinary and compelling reasons existed for a sentence reduction. Specifically the court noted that the disparities between the sentencing scheme imposed in 2010 and today: “the disparity between the instant sentence imposed in 2010 and a sentence under current statutory laws for the same offenses is significant, i.e. a mandatory life sentence as opposed to a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence [for the drug charges].” The court also found that “[i]f the court gave a guidelines sentence, Daggs’s total prison sentence would have been between 308 months and 355 months.”
Ultimately the court sentenced Daggs to the following:
“190 months as to Count 1; 120 months as to Count 2; 188 months as to Counts 4 and 6, with the foregoing sentences to be served concurrently as originally imposed. In addition, 60 months as to Count 3, to be served consecutively as to the terms imposed as to Counts 1, 2, 4, and 6, and 60 months as to Count 5, to be served consecutively as to the terms imposed as to Counts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6.” This led to a total sentence of 310 months, or 25 years and 10 months, down from life in prison.