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Category: Blog

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

April 16, 2022
Ketanji Brown Jackson Confirmed as Supreme Court Justice

  Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmed to the Supreme Court Ketanji Brown Jackson was confirmed to the Supreme Court on April 7, 2022. This is a monumental event for the future of the Supreme Court, as she is the first African American woman to be appointed to this position. Brown has an impressive background and qualifications […]

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April 12, 2022
Seventh Circuit Decides 2241 Appeal and Savings Clause Issue: Franklin v. Keyes

Facts:  Serial Burglar Gets Challenges ACCA Conviction Franklin was sentenced in the District of Minnesota for a federal firearms offense.  He was enhanced under the Armed Career Criminal Act for three prior convictions of Minnesota burglary and two Illinois residential burglary cases.  He did not appeal or file a 2255 within the normal one-year timeframe. […]

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April 3, 2022
Why You Should Not Write a Letter to Your Judge

Our office communicates with hundreds of inmates and their families each week through phone calls, emails and corrlinks.  At least once a day we hear either an inmate or a loved one say that either they wanted to write a letter to the judge explaining their side of the story, they already wrote the letter […]

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March 24, 2022
Equal Act Has Ten Republican Cosponsors

On March 22, 2022, Republican Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina became the 10th Republican co-sponsor for the historic EQUAL Act legislation. The EQUAL Act passed the House of Representatives months ago.  And even President Biden's Justice Department has endorsed it in a Senate Judiciary Committee Meeting.  However, it was sitting in the Senate blocked by […]

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March 21, 2022
Fifth Circuit Rules on Conflict of Interest Ineffective Counsel Claim: Sheperd

FACTS:  Lawyer represented health care fraud defendant and also government witness on same case Sheperd was indicted for conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud.  She retained a lawyer and the case was set for trial.  Her hired counsel met with FBI agents and a prosecutor to discuss the case.  However the lawyer was there acting on […]

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March 16, 2022
Supreme Court Explains "Occasions Clause" case: Wooden

On March 7, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in Wooden v. United States, case number 20-5279 (2022). At issue in the Wooden case was how to interpret a particular phrase in the ACCA penalty clause found at 18 U.S.C. 924(e). Thankfully, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a good decision today. We are […]

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March 16, 2022
Prosectors to Stop Asking for Compassionate Release Waivers in Plea Agreement: NPR

The Justice Department is ceasing a troubling practice after an NPR story shed light on it in February.  Plea agreements that waive the right to seek compassionate release may be coming to an end. The Background:  Plea Agreements and Compassionate Release Most people charged with a crime do not take their case to trial.  The […]

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March 13, 2022
United State Sentencing Commission Publishes Compassionate Release Report

The United States Sentencing Commission has issued a report titled: Compassionate Release: The Impact of the First Step Act and COVID-19 Pandemic. The Commission published a report about the compassionate releases that were sought, granted and denied for fiscal year 2020 (from September of 2019 to September of 2020). There are 7 key findings: Both […]

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March 13, 2022
Fourth Circuit:  ACCA Enhancement Based on Non-Identified Predicates in PSR is Reversible Error: Benton

In the Benton case, the Court determined that “the district court relied on prior convictions that were not identified as predicates in Benton’s presentence report and of which he had no notice at sentencing.” FACTS:  Repeat Offender loses ACCA Challenge Post-Johnson Benton was charged with several charges including a felon in possession of a weapon […]

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March 12, 2022
United States Sentencing Commission Publishes Annual Sourcebook for Fiscal Year 2021

The United States Sentencing Commission, a non-partisan agency that develops sentencing guidelines for federal criminal cases and takes statistical data for crimes and punishments has developed their annual sourcebook for Fiscal Year 2021. Below are their findings and their fast facts, which is a summary. FY21 Fast Facts The Sourcebook presents information on the 57,287 federal […]

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