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In United States of America vs. Perlaza-Ortiz, No. 16-40331, the Fifth Circuit vacated a sentence that was enhanced under USSG 2L1.2, an immigration guideline, in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Mathis v. United States.

Perlaza-Ortiz pleaded guilty to unlawfully reentering the U.S. At sentencing Perlaza-Ortiz was enhanced 16 levels under 2L1.2 of the guidelines because of a prior “crime of violence” for a Texas conviction for a crime called “Deadly Conduct.” This enhancement helped produce a Guideline range of 46-57 months in criminal history category III, but the court downwardly departed to criminal history category II resulting in a guideline range of 41-51 months. The court then sentenced Perlaza-Ortiz to 41 months. In imposing sentence the judge said:

“I also want to be very clear in this case that this sentence, if there is any some – for whatever reason, any miscalculation or inappropriate determination of a guideline range, based on the 3553(a) factors, this would definitely still be my sentence as to what would be the appropriate sentence with the 3553(a) factors taken as a whole.” Perlaza-Ortiz argued that he should have only received an 8-level enhancement.

Texas Deadly Conduct is found in Section 22.05 of the Texas Penal Code which states:

“A person commits an offense if he knowingly discharges a firearm at or in the direction of:

(1) one or more individuals; or

(2) a habitation, building, or vehicle and is reckless as to whether the habitation, building, or vehicle is occupied.”

In assessing whether Perlaza-Ortiz was entitled to relief, the Fifth Circuit stated:

“This case requires us to revisit the question of whether Section 22.05(b) is divisible, because Mathis supplants any of our precedents inconsistent with its methodology for identifying “truly divisible statutes.”A statute is “divisible” if it “defines multiple crimes.” If a statute is divisible, the court may use the “modified categorical approach,” which “permit[s] courts to examine ‘a limited class of documents (for example, the indictment, jury instructions, or plea agreement and colloquy) to determine what crime, with what elements, a defendant was convicted of.’”

“Some criminal statutes appear divisible but are not.” Id. “These statutes, rather than providing alternative elements, instead list ‘various factual means of committing a single element.’ “In Mathis, the Supreme Court held that the modified categorical approach is not appropriate for this species of criminal statute.” Id.

“Mathis provided helpful guidance for determining whether a predicate statute of conviction is divisible.” “[I]n light of Mathis, we know that we must determine whether ‘listed items’ in a state statute ‘are elements or means . . . .’”“Elements must be agreed upon by a jury.” “When a jury is not required to agree on the way that a particular requirement of an offense is met, the way of satisfying that requirement is a means of committing an offense[,] not an element of the offense.” Id. “[I]f ‘a state court decision definitively answers the question’ our inquiry is at an end.” As a final note, there is a “demand for certainty” when evaluating “whether a defendant was convicted of a generic offense.”

The Fifth Circuit then looked at several UNPUBLIBSHED Texas state cases to illustrate that the subsections of 22.05 are alternate means as opposed to elements. The court looked at unpublished cases because they can provide some help to determine if a statute is divisible or not. Not only that but they looked at the underlying indictments in those cases as well. And then the court looked at legislative history including a final conference committee report and bill analysis in order to determine whether the the statute was divisible or not.

The court determined that the legislative history and the case law was clear but if it wasn’t then they cold look at the record of the conviction itself under Mathis including the indictment and the jury instructions.

As the Fifth Circuit held,

“Here, there can be no doubt that the indictment references “one . . . term to the exclusion of all others”5; it charges Perlaza-Ortiz unmistakably with a violation of 22.01(b)(1), and makes no mention of habitations, buildings, or vehicles. Still, the indictment, along with the other arguments the Government presents, would not be enough to establish with the requisite “certainty” that Perlaza-Ortiz was convicted of a generic offense, especially when it is balanced against the clear, if unpublished, Texas case law.”

Finally, the court also determined that the error wasn’t harmless. According to the Fifth Circuit:

The Government has not carried its burden of demonstrating that Perlaza-Ortiz’s sentence “was not influenced in any way by the erroneous Guideline calculation.’”

Accordingly, the Fifth Circuit Reversed, 16-40331

Jeremy’s Take: Yesterday I was on the phone with a loved one of a prisoner. I tried to explain the complexity of the categorical approach and consequently why it is important to have an attorney look at state court opinions, statutes and other sources in order to determine if an enhancement was properly applied. This decision proves my point. The Fifth Circuit considered unpublished court opinions, state legislature conference committee reports from 1993, among other materials. This is NOT something that you can done via a cursory phone call or even looking at just a PSI. Further, as you all know, the BOP does not make state law available in its law libraries.

The case also said that your attorney has to communicate the statutory maximums and minimums but also has to “know the guidelines.” That is up to interpretation by the courts. If you have a case where a lawyer did not adequately advise you or your loved one about the advantages and disadvantages of pleading guilty, then contact us today.

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Have you or a loved one been charged with or convicted of a federal crime? You need an experienced Federal Defense Lawyer who can help fight for your freedom. Because we are good at what we do, we have clients from all over the country to count on us to provide them with competent and reasonably priced services.

The law office of Jeremy Gordon is dedicated and focused on powerfully and effectively representing our clients. We look forward to the opportunity to discuss your case with you. Contact us today for a free consultation and initial case review at 972-483-4865 or email us at [email protected]. Payment plans available.

 

In United States v. Vaughn, No. 16-3138, the Third Circuit reversed the denial of a 2255 for failure to hold an evidentiary hearing.

Vaughn was charged with conspiracy to commit money-laundering, conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, wire fraud and use of a fictitious name in relation to mail fraud.   He was convicted and sentenced to 72 months and 62 months to run concurrently. He filed a motion to vacate his sentence claiming that his lawyer was ineffective.

Vaughan stated in his affidavit accompanying the 2255 motion that the government offered him an 11(c)(1)(C) plea of 60 months (remember that Fed. R. Cri. P. 11(c)(1)(C) says that if the parties “agree that a specific sentence … is the appropriate disposition of the case” then “such a recommendation or request binds the court once the court accepts the plea agreement”). He also stated that his lawyer refused to tell him of his trial sentence exposure, stating that “he only practiced in facts not fairy tales and further that he practiced in guarantees not what ifs.” The government later offered a plea to two counts with no 11(c)(1)(C) plea. Vaughn said in his affidavit that his lawyer pushed him to take this deal, stating that the judge ‘hinted’ that he would sentence him below the guidelines.

His lawyer’s affidavit stated that he gave the client an estimate of what the likely guidelines range would be and they talked it over at length. There were also emails between the two of them where they talked about the likely sentencing effects of pleading guilty to the second plea offer.

The 2255 claimed that the lawyer provided ineffective assistance of counsel during the plea-bargaining and sentencing processes for the first plea (of 60 months). Both Vaughan and his counsel submitted affidavits. Even though they conflicted with each other the District Court denied them without a hearing.

On appeal the court indicated that Vaughan’s statements in his affidavit would mean that the lawyer was ineffective. Further, the government admitted that it’s basically Vaughn against his lawyer in competing affidavits. The Third Circuit also indicated that the statements made at the change of plea hearing were not appropriate evidence of what the lawyer had said because those were about the offer that was accepted, not what was turned down (because there wouldn’t be talk at a plea hearing about a plea that you didn’t take). The third circuit also indicated that there was no talk about the prejudice prong of the 2255 as well (remember, to prevail on a 2255 you have to show deficient performance and prejudice).

The Third Circuit Reversed, No. 16-3138

JEREMY’S TAKE: When you are filing a 2255 indicating that your lawyer was ineffective it is IMPORTANT to file a declaration with it stating the ways that (s)he was ineffective. What did they say? What did they do? How did they respond to your questions about the plea deal? Is there anything that they said that surprised you?   And when they give you their answers then you write it down for your own records. Maybe even email a copy of the conversation to your loved one in case your legal paperwork gets “taken away” or lost. Keep notes of these things so that you can give them to an attorney later for a possible 2255 case.

The case also said that your attorney has to communicate the statutory maximums and minimums but also has to “know the guidelines.” That is up to interpretation by the courts. If you have a case where your lawyer did not adequately advise you about the advantages and disadvantages of pleading guilty, then contact us today.

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Have you or a loved one been charged with or convicted of a federal crime? You need an experienced Federal Defense Lawyer who can help fight for your freedom. Because we are good at what we do, we have clients from all over the country to count on us to provide them with competent and reasonably priced services.

The law office of Jeremy Gordon is dedicated and focused on powerfully and effectively representing our clients. We look forward to the opportunity to discuss your case with you. Contact us today for a free consultation and initial case review at 972-483-4865 or email us at [email protected]. Payment plans available.

 

Juarez was convicted of conspiring to distribute drugs and conspiring to possess firearms in the furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. At sentencing, the Pre-Sentencing Report (PSR) recommended a four-level enhancement because Juarez allegedly sold bulletproof vests to two people and the “vests were kept in stash houses where drugs drug proceeds and firearms were kept.”

Juarez argued that the vests were never “used” in the furtherance of the conspiracy. The district court disagreed, finding that “use” could be interpreted along with “barter” as an exchange of body armor for money. As a result, Juarez was sentenced to 365 months, the TOP of the guideline range after the increased sentence for the body armor. The court also said that if 3b1.5(2)(B) didn’t apply then an upward variance would have been applied and Juarez would have still gotten the same sentence.

3b1.5 says:

If—

(1) the defendant was convicted of a drug trafficking crime or crime of violence;

and

(2) (apply the greater)—

(A) the offense involved the use of body armor, increase by 2 levels; or

(B) the defendant used body armor during the commission of the offense, in preparation for the offense, or in an attempt to avoid apprehension for the offense, increase by 4 levels.

The Fifth Circuit, agreeing with Juarez, held that the plain language of the Guideline showed that this enhancement was inapplicable. The language states that “use” either means “active employment in a manner to protect the person from gunfire” or “use as a means of bartering.” The Fifth Circuit has previously held that “barter” means to exchange one thing for another WITHOUT the use of money. Selling bulletproof vests for money, as Juarez did, was not “bartering.” The government argued that this would go against the purpose of the guideline and common sense, but was unable to support its position with any case law.

Next, the Fifth Circuit turned to whether this Guideline application error was harmless. An error is harmless only if the GOVERNMENT proves:

(1) “the district court would have imposed a sentence outside the properly calculated sentencing range for the same reasons it provided at the sentencing hearing” and (2) “the sentence the district court imposed was not influenced in any way by the erroneous Guidelines calculation.”

In this situation, the court not only sentenced Juarez to a higher range because of the body armor, but sentenced him to the high end of that range. However, the fact that Juarez was sentenced to the high end of the range was insufficient to show that the error was harmless.

Accordingly, the Fifth Circuit reversed. United States v. Juarez, No. 16-30773 (5th Cir. 2017).

JEREMY’S TAKE: You can’t barter something if you are actually selling it for cold hard dollars. A barter would be if you said, “I’ll give you ten macks if you cut my hair.” Or, “I got a book for one of them banana pudding bowls.” There is an exchange there, but not one of money. The other important thing about this decision is that the Fifth Circuit still ordered a resentencing in spite of the judge’s comments that he would have given the same sentence anyways. This goes to show how high the harmless error burden really is, if applied properly.

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Have you or a loved one been charged with or convicted of a federal crime? You need an experienced Federal Defense Lawyer who can help fight for your freedom. Because we are good at what we do, we have clients from all over the country to count on us to provide them with competent and reasonably priced services.

The law office of Jeremy Gordon is dedicated and focused on powerfully and effectively representing our clients. We look forward to the opportunity to discuss your case with you. Contact us today for a free consultation and initial case review at 972-483-4865 or email us at [email protected]. Payment plans available.

 

Madkins was convicted of distribution of cocaine base and distribution of cocaine base within 1000 feet of a school. He was found guilty and was designated a career offender. He had two prior convictions in the state of Kansas for possession with intent to sell cocaine and marijuana. Madkins claimed that the Kansas statutes included possession of a controlled substance with intent to offer for sale, which is outside of 4b1.2. The District Court disagreed.

The Tenth Circuit reviewed the Kansas statute, which said: [I]t shall be unlawful for any person to sell, offer for sale or have in such person’s possession with intent to sell, deliver, or distribute; prescribe; administer; deliver; distribute; dispense or compound any opiates, opium or narcotic drugs, or any stimulant drug.

Kansas Law defines sale as “offer to sell.” And because that is broader than a generic federal controlled substance offense, it does not qualify as proper predicate for the career offender enhancement. This is similar to United States v. Hinkle, which was decided by the Fifth Circuit. Hinkle was enhanced as a career offender based on a prior conviction for delivery of a controlled substance. However, Texas law, like Kansas, defines “distribution” as including an “offer to sell.” As such, the Fifth Circuit held that Texas distribution priors were no longer qualifying for career offender purposes.. Similarly, in United States v. Savage, 542 f3d 959 (2nd Cir. 2008), there was a Connecticut statute that penalized the “sale” of a controlled substance. But the definition of “sale” also included “any form of delivery[,] which includes barter, exchange or gift, or offer therefor.”

Madkins sentence was accordingly reversed, and the case was remanded for further proceedings. United States v. Madkins, No. 15-3299 (10th Cir. 2017).

JEREMY’S TAKE: The “categorical approach,” which requires examination of state statutes, is complicated. Many lawyers do not understand it. However, in light of Mathis, a decision from the Supreme Court in 2016, we are slowly seeing more and more appeals courts crack the door for individuals serving a long recidivist-based sentence.

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WERE YOU ENHANCED AS A CARREER OFFENDER or did you receive an ACCA enhancement? Are you looking to hire counsel to help you get some relief? If so, my office is prepared to assist.

Have you or a loved one been charged with or convicted of a federal crime? You need an experienced Federal Defense Lawyer who can help fight for your freedom. Because we are good at what we do, we have clients from all over the country to count on us to provide them with competent and reasonably priced services.

The law office of Jeremy Gordon is dedicated and focused on powerfully and effectively representing our clients. We look forward to the opportunity to discuss your case with you. Contact us today for a free consultation and initial case review at 972-483-4865 or email us at [email protected]. Payment plans available.

 

In United States v. Strickland, No. 14-30168 the Ninth Circuit vacated a sentence because the term “physical force” under Oregon’s Third Degree Robbery statute doesn’t match the term’s use in the ACCA.

Strickland pled guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm.  He was sentenced to 15 years under the ACCA for three prior violent felony convictions.  Strickland objected to the Oregon conviction for third degree robbery.  The District Court determined that the robbery satisfied the residual clause.  This was before Johnson v. US, now the residual clause can’t serve as the predicate for Strickland’s sentence.

The court noted that under the force clause the statute must have “as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person of another.”  and that when looking at a state statute the court looks at the text and the state court’s interpretations of the statue’s terms.

The Applicable state statute requires the use of threatened use of “physical force” upon another person.  The court indicated that the question presented is whether the term “physical force” means “violent force,” which is required for the ACCA.

The court noted that the state cases show that Oregon doesn’t require “physically violent force”  notating cases in Oregon where a thief tugged away a purse from a woman and the woman didn’t feel “much of anything.” This met the standard for that case because the thief used physical force to snatch the purse.  The court noted that “the statute does not focus on the extent to which the victim may or may not have felt the force, but rather on the perpetrator’s intent, while using force on the victim, that any resistance that the victim might offer be prevented or overcome.”  Other cases that met the statue included a case where a thief pulling away from a shopping guard was a robbery and that the statue was met when a victim and a thief had a tug of war over a purse.  Thus the statute is not a match to the force clause.  Therefore the robbery was not an appropriate predicate.  Since  the third degree was also not an enumerated offense it met no predicates for the ACCA and could not be used.

The ninth circuit vacated and remanded the sentence to the District Court, No. 14-30168

These ACCA cases where state priors are used to enhance a sentence must be given a critical eye.  each case and each statute must be evaluated in order to determine if the predicates can be challenged.  And just like in Strickland, cases saying what the law is may be vital.  If you have an ACCA enhancement please reach out to my office at [email protected] in order for us to look at your case.

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Have you or a loved one been charged with or convicted of a federal crime? You need an experienced Federal Defense Lawyer who can help fight for your freedom. Because we are good at what we do, we have clients from all over the country to count on us to provide them with competent and reasonably priced services.

The law office of Jeremy Gordon is dedicated and focused on powerfully and effectively representing our clients. We look forward to the opportunity to discuss your case with you. Contact us today for a free consultation and initial case review at 972-483-4865 or email us at [email protected]. Payment plans available.

 

In U.S. v. Concha, the Court reversed the sentence of a person who cooperated because his sentencing court abused their discretion by considering factors unrelated to his assistance.

Concha was arrested and agreed to cooperate by delivering both real and counterfeit cocaine.  After the delivery, two people were indicted for conspiracy to distribute.  A 5k1.1 motion was filed.

The court granted the government’s 5k1.1 motion but indicated that they were struggling with this because it showed his involvement in these drug crimes.  The court determined that his involvement was “huge” and that other people have been sent to jail for extended periods of time with less culpability.  The court went on to say things like “he’s dumping that crap [here].”

The court noted that his range was 168-210 months and that a 210-month sentence was appropriate.  When determining the factors, the court indicated that the crime was serious and there was damage to the community.  The court also noted that the description of the cooperation showed that he was involved in a much larger conspiracy and that his conduct was in greater magnitude.  The court sentenced him to 126 months, a 40% reduction from the 210 month sentence.  Concha appealed stating that the district court abused their discretion by considering factors unrelated to his cooperation when determining the extent of the departure.

The court noted that the for a 5k1.1 departure, the court can only consider assistance related factors only.  When a court is using 3553(e) to reduce a sentence below a statutory minimum they can only consider assistance-related factors when determining the extent of the departure.

The court noted that the district court considered factors unrelated to assistance when determining the extent of the departure.  The facts that they considered were relevant to the pre-departure sentencing determination and the court properly took those factors into account when selecting the 210-month sentence.  But the court also took them into account when determining the substantial-assistance departure.

The court determined that the district court abused its discretion when considering facts relating to his culpability for the charged conspiracy when determining ow much they would depart from the guidelines’s sentence.

The Fourth Circuit Vacated and Remanded the Sentence.

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My office handles matters involving cooperation including matters where people do not get time cuts at all or get less than what is appropriate for the cooperation that they have engaged in.  If you did not receive the amount of time off that you should have for your cooperation then please reach out to my office.  You need an experienced Federal Defense Lawyer who can help fight for your freedom. Because we are good at what we do, we have clients from all over the country to count on us to provide them with competent and reasonably priced services.

The law office of Jeremy Gordon is dedicated and focused on powerfully and effectively representing our clients. We look forward to the opportunity to discuss your case with you. Contact us today for a free consultation and initial case review at 972-483-4865 or email us at [email protected]. Payment plans available.

 

 

In U.S. vs. Reyes-Ochoa, No. 15-41270,  the Fifth Circuit held that a sixteen-level “crime of violence” enhancement for a Virginia Statutory Burglary was plain error.

Reyes-Ochoa was a citizen of El Salvador.  He pled guilty to being an alien who knowingly and unlawfully entered the US following deportation.  The prior Virginia Statutory Burglary meant that Reyes-Ochoa’s base offense level had 16 points added to it.  That led to a guideline range of 41-51 months.  Reyes-Ochoa was sentenced to 41 months.

Reyes-Ochoa asserted that his burglary case, which was prosecuted under VA Code 18.2-90 is indivisible and doesn’t satisfy the categorical approach because the statute includes offenses broader than generic “burglary oaf a dwelling.”  Reyes-Ochoa didn’t object to the sentencing enhancement in the district court meaning that the appellate court used a plain error standard.

The Court explained Mathis, and then looked at the language of the statute of VA burglary, which is:

“If any person in the nighttime enters without breaking or in the daytime breaks and enters or enters and conceals himself in a dwelling house or an adjoining, occupied outhouse or in the nighttime enters without breaking or at any time breaks and enters or enters and conceals himself in any building permanently affixed to realty, or any ship, vessel or river craft or any railroad car, or any automobile, truck or trailer, if such automobile, truck or trailer is used as a dwelling or place of human habitation, with intent to commit murder, rape, robbery or arson … he shall be deemed guilty of statutory burglary….”

The Fifth Circuit held that the Fourth Circuit (which is where Virginia is) made the right call in  Castendet-Lewis, 855 F.3d at 255–56 where they held that Virginia’s Burglary Statute was indivisible and provided four district factual means of describing how the statutory offense of burglary can be committed because the Virginia Courts analyze them interchangeably.  The Fourth Circuit noted that post Mathis, previous analysis of this failed because the statute has more than one way to satisfy a single element of a single crime.  Ultimately the Fourth Circuit indicated that the Burglary conviction could not be an aggravated felony because it criminalizes more conduct than the generic federal offense of burglary.

The Fifth Circuit agreed that the same result should happen here.  The court determined that it was obvious error to impose a Crime Of Violence Enhancement based on Reyes-Ochoa’s burglary conviction.

The court also determined that the enhancement affected Reyes-Ochoa’s substantial rights because without that enhancement he would be been subject to a guidelines range of 15-21 months which is lower than the 41 month sentence that was imposed.  The court also determined that “the fairness of the judicial proceedings and warrants the exercise of [the court’s] discretion to correct the error because his sentence was 20 months above the top of his correct guidelines range.

The Fifth Circuit Reversed, U.S. V. Reyes-Ochoa, 15-41270.

In a FAQ back when Johnson came out, my office noted that there were many different types of cases that could have been improperly enhanced due to the “crime of violence” language.  This is one of the instances that we found.  If you have “crime of violence” language in your PSI that leads to an enhancement then you may be able to fight it.  Please reach out to our office at [email protected]  to find out more.

In United States v. Ramos-Gonzales the Fifth Circuit vacated the Southern District of Texas’ “re-imposition” condition of Supervised Release.

Ramos-Gonzales was arrested and charged with attempt to transport undocumented individuals.  She pled guilty and the PSR suggested a guidelines range of 8-14 months with a 3 year term of supervised release.

The first time she was sentenced the “standard terms and conditions of supervision” were imposed.  that included a “nighttime restriction of 12 midnight to 6 AM and drug surveillance.”  There were no objections to that.

Ramos-Gonzales appealed claiming that the court committed plain error with the drug surveillance and night time restriction conditions of supervised release, stating that the district court failed to explain its reasons and the record didn’t furnish independent evidentiary support.  The government moved to remand for the same reasons stating that even though she had a 2012 conviction for possession of 44 pounds of marijuana and last smoked marijuana 25 years ago, there is nothing in the record that warrants drug  in the manner prescribed.  The Court granted plain error relief after doing its own analysis.

At resentencing the District Court Vacated the nighttime restriction because Ramos-Gonzales was living with her children and there was no evidence that the offense occurred at night time.  The court maintained the drug surveillance condition because of her prior drug conviction even though counsel maintained her objection because it was an invasion of privacy and a financial burden.

The court pointed out that that the special conditions must be reasonably related to one of four factors:

(1) “the nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and characteristics of the defendant”;

(2) “the need . . . to afford adequate deterrence to criminal conduct”;

(3) “the need . . . to protect the public from further crimes of the defendant”; and

(4) “the need . . . to provide the defendant with needed educational or vocational training, medical care, or other correctional treatment in the most effective manner.”

The court went on to indicate that the standard of review is abuse of discretion.

The court indicated that the conviction for possession was from 2012, there was no evidence that she engaged in personal drug use and the court can’t speculate as to any criminal conduct that a surveillance-related special condition would detect or deter.  The court concluded that there was no relevant evidence of drug use and the district court abused their discretion in imposing that special condition on Ramos-Gonzales.  The court went on to indicate that since she will have to do mandatory drug testing anyway that remand would be unnecessary and just vacated the special condition of supervised release.

In a footnote, it was stated that the the sentencing hearing was handled over the phone without the defendant’s physical presence.  The court also advised against conducting sentencing hearings by telephone, advising that criminal proceedings are solemn.  Judge Jones concurred in the ruling indicating that there is no rule allowing a person to conduct a hearing by telephonic conferencing and that doing such is a “lack of dignity and detachment from the moral drama of the criminal justice system.”

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Have you or a loved one been charged with or convicted of a federal crime? You need an experienced Federal Defense Lawyer who can help fight for your freedom. Because we are good at what we do, we have clients from all over the country to count on us to provide them with competent and reasonably priced services.

The law office of Jeremy Gordon is dedicated and focused on powerfully and effectively representing our clients. We look forward to the opportunity to discuss your case with you. Contact us today for a free consultation and initial case review at 972-483-4865 or email us at [email protected]. Payment plans available.

As many of you know, Congress and the President passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017, otherwise known as the federal budget, this past week.  The bill funds the government until the end of September 2017. Remember, the fiscal year of the government is October 1 to September 30.

We are still waiting to hear about specific reforms to the government and the bureau of prisons.  As we find those I will let you know.  The text of the bill is below:

Salaries and Expenses (including transfer of funds)

For necessary expenses of the Federal Prison System for the administration, operation, and maintenance of Federal penal and correctional institutions, and for the provision of technical assistance and advice on corrections related issues to foreign governments, $7,008,800,000:  Provided, That the Attorney General may transfer to the Department of Health and Human Services such amounts as may be necessary for direct expenditures by that Department for medical relief for inmates of Federal penal and correctional institutions:

Provided further, That the Director of the Federal Prison System, where necessary, may enter into contracts with a fiscal agent or fiscal intermediary claims processor to determine the amounts payable to persons who, on behalf of the Federal Prison System, furnish health services to individuals committed to the custody of the Federal Prison System:

Provided further, That not to exceed $5,400 shall be available for official reception and representation expenses:

Provided further, that not to exceed $50,000,000 shall remain available for necessary operations until September 30, 2018:

Provided further that, of the amounts provided for contract confinement, not to exceed $20,000,000 shall remain available until expended to make payments in advance for grants, contracts and reimbursable agreements, and other expenses:

Provided further, That the Director of the Federal Prison System may accept donated property and services relating to the operation of the prison card program from a not-for-profit entity which has operated such program in the past, notwithstanding the fact that such not-for-profit entity furnishes services under contracts to the Federal Prison System relating to the operation of pre-release services, halfway houses, or other custodial facilities.

Buildings and Facilities

For planning, acquisition of sites and construction of new facilities; purchase and acquisition of facilities and remodeling, and equipping of such facilities for penal and correctional use, including all necessary expenses incident thereto, by contract or force account; and constructing, remodeling, and equipping necessary buildings and facilities at existing penal and correctional institutions, including all necessary expenses incident thereto, by contract or force account, $130,000,000, to remain available until expended, of which $50,000,000 shall be available only for costs related to construction of new facilities:

Provided, that labor of United States prisoners may be used for work performed under this appropriation.

Federal Prison Industries, Incorporated

The Federal Prison Industries, Incorporated, is hereby authorized to make such expenditures within the limits of funds and borrowing authority available, and in accord with the law, and to make such contracts and commitments without regard to fiscal year limitations as provided by section 9104 of title 31, United States Code, as may be necessary in carrying out the program set forth in the budget for the current fiscal year for such corporation.

Limitation on Administrative Expenses, Federal Prison Industries, Incorporated 

Not to exceed $2,700,000 of the funds of the Federal Prison Industries, Incorporated, shall be available for its administrative expenses, and for services as authorized by section 3109 of title 5, United States Code, to be computed on an accrual basis to be determined in accordance with the corporation’s current prescribed accounting system, and such amounts shall be exclusive of depreciation, payment of claims, and expenditures which such accounting system requires to be capitalized or charged to cost of commodities acquired or produced, including selling and shipping expenses, and expenses in connection with acquisition, construction, operation, maintenance, improvement, protection, or disposition of facilities and other property belonging to the corporation or in which it has an interest.

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Have you or a loved one been charged with or convicted of a federal crime? You need an experienced Federal Defense Lawyer who can help fight for your freedom. Because we are good at what we do, we have clients from all over the country to count on us to provide them with competent and reasonably priced services.

The law office of Jeremy Gordon is dedicated and focused on powerfully and effectively representing our clients. We look forward to the opportunity to discuss your case with you. Contact us today for a free consultation and initial case review at 972-483-4865 or email us at [email protected]. Payment plans available.