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Category: Blog

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

February 3, 2024
Ineffective Assistance of Counsel for Failing to Consult With a Client After Sentencing:  Tighe, No. 22-50332

Sentencing can be one of the most stressful times in a persons life. A person goes form being a defendant to finally convicted of the offense and they get sentenced. In my experience, things happen very fast as well; the parties make their arguments, the defendant makes their allocution, the judge pronounces sentence and then […]

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December 22, 2023
Legislative Update: A Puzzling Juxtaposition

A Bipartisan Move for Justice In a surprising turn of events, the Prohibiting Punishment of Acquitted Conduct Act, spearheaded by Congressman Steve Cohen, made its way through the House Judiciary Committee on November 2, 2023. Notably, the bipartisan measure earned unanimous approval with a 23-0 vote, paving its way to the floor of the full […]

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December 22, 2023
Sentencing Authority Challenged: Robinson

The Sentencing Dilemma In the complex world of federal criminal defense, a recent case in the Fifth Circuit has brought to light the critical importance of understanding the authority behind sentencing decisions. Robinson, charged with possession of a firearm by a felon and obstruction of justice, found himself in a predicament during sentencing that led […]

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December 22, 2023
Sixth Circuit Applies Continuous Course of Conduct: Cleveland

Understanding the Continuous Course of Conduct Doctrine In the realm of federal criminal defense, the Continuous Course of Conduct Doctrine plays a crucial role in determining the outcome of cases. A recent development in the Sixth Circuit sheds light on this doctrine through Cleveland's case (No. 21-3758), where convictions related to drug charges hinged on […]

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December 8, 2023
USSC Guideline Amendments

Sentencing Commission Proposals Update The United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) is actively considering and proposing amendments to federal sentencing guidelines, with potential implications for individuals currently within prison walls. The proposed changes cover a range of areas, and public comments are invited until February 22, 2024. Potential Guideline Regarding Loss The USSC suggests a noteworthy […]

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December 8, 2023
Second Circuit Overturns Drug Conviction: Gillon & Aguirre

In a recent legal development, the Second Circuit Court has taken action in the case of Gillon and Aguirre.  Both convicted of possession with intent to distribute drugs. The court's decision, which involves the application of the Double Jeopardy Clause, has significant implications for their sentences. Let's break down the details in simpler terms. The […]

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November 30, 2023
Certiorari for ACCA Sentencing Granted: Erlinger v. United States

In a significant grant of certiorari for ACCA sentencing, the Supreme Court has chosen to hear the case Erlinger v. United States.  When the Court grants certiorari, it means they are committing to hear and decide on a case. Understanding this process, it's noteworthy that out of over 7,000 cases presented each year, the Court selects […]

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November 30, 2023
Clemency Education: Empowering Change in Federal Prisons

In a significant step towards transparency and clemency education, Pardon Attorney Elizabeth Oyer and her dedicated team recently visited the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Petersburg in Virginia. This Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBOP) facility houses both medium and low-security units for men, along with an adjoining minimum-security camp. This visit, part of a quarterly series, […]

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November 15, 2023
Decoding the De La Cruz Nava Case

A twist in case of a trial conviction reversal. In a recent legal development, the case of De La Cruz Nava, charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, money laundering, and firearms possession related to drug trafficking, took an unexpected turn. Despite her conviction after a jury trial, the Eighth Circuit has reversed and remanded the […]

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November 15, 2023
Obstruction of Justice in Martinez-Hernandez

In a recent legal development, the Fifth Circuit vacated the sentence of an individual, Martinez-Hernandez, who was convicted of transporting undocumented immigrants into the United States. The case centered around two key issues: an enhancement for obstruction of justice and a denial of a reduction for acceptance of responsibility. Willful Obstruction of Justice Martinez-Hernandez received […]

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