Habeas Corpus

Gamble v. United States: Double Jeopardy and Separate Sovereigns Doctrine

Gamble v. United States, Double Jeopardy, Separate Sovereigns

On December 6th, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in the case of Gamble v. United States, which concerns double jeopardy and the separate sovereigns doctrine. Without question, this case will have massive implications for our country.   Why? Because, at its core, this case calls into question the ability of both the federal…

Continue Reading Gamble v. United States: Double Jeopardy and Separate Sovereigns Doctrine

Sessions v Dimaya – How Will Justice Gorsuch Vote?

Today the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Sessions v Dimaya. Most people have probably never heard of this little case, but in the world of criminal defense and immigration law Sessions v Dimaya has the potential to be a landmark decision. Sessions v Dimaya – It’s All About The “Residual Clause” At issue in Dimaya is whether…

Continue Reading Sessions v Dimaya - How Will Justice Gorsuch Vote?

Mandatory Guideline Sentences Subject to Johnson Challenge

mandatory guideline sentences

Several important decisions have been handed down over the past several weeks involving challenges to mandatory guideline sentences. In 2005 the Supreme Court decided United States v. Booker, which rendered the Sentencing Guidelines advisory instead of mandatory. If you or a loved one were sentenced before Booker, what I am about to discuss is for you. Unfortunately,…

Continue Reading Mandatory Guideline Sentences Subject to Johnson Challenge

Federal Prisoner Cannot Bring 28 USC 2241 Petition In Washington, DC

28 USC 2241

A prisoner claiming to be in custody in violation of the constitution or laws or treaties of the United States may seek a writ of habeas corpus under 28 USC 2241 in the federal district court wherein they are confined. The proper respondent is the custodian of the prisoner. The United States Supreme Court has…

Continue Reading Federal Prisoner Cannot Bring 28 USC 2241 Petition In Washington, DC

Bad Advice Amounts To Ineffective Assistance Of Counsel, High Court Rules

ineffective assistance of counsel

Ineffective assistance of counsel is the most common claim presented in a 28 U.S.C. § 2255 motion. A § 2255 motion is used by federal prisoners to seek relief from their conviction or sentence. Under section 2255, a federal prisoner may move to vacate, set aside, or correct their sentence if it was (1) imposed…

Continue Reading Bad Advice Amounts To Ineffective Assistance Of Counsel, High Court Rules

Witness Credibility Findings May Not Be Rejected Without New Hearing

witness credibility

Witness credibility is often key in resolving whether a federal prisoner is entitled to 28 U.S.C. 2255 relief. This is because 2255 claims typically pit the testimony of defendants against their former lawyers. However, since federal district judges are busy, magistrate judges are routinely tasked with making a report and recommendation about whether the defendant’s…

Continue Reading Witness Credibility Findings May Not Be Rejected Without New Hearing

Certificate Of Appealability Standard Not The Same As Merits Determination, Supreme Court Holds

certificate of appealability

A certificate of appealability is required to appeal the denial of federal habeas relief. According to federal statute, a certificate of appealability may only be granted “if the applicant has made a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right.” 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2). The Supreme Court has made clear in prior cases that a…

Continue Reading Certificate Of Appealability Standard Not The Same As Merits Determination, Supreme Court Holds

Self-Representation Erroneously Denied By State Court

self-representation

Brian Foster unequivocally asked to represent himself at his state trial. The state trial court conducted a Faretta hearing to decide if it would allow Foster to represent himself. In Faretta v. California, 422 U.S. 806 (1975), the Supreme Court recognized the right of self-representation. The state district judge refused Foster’s request to represent himself,…

Continue Reading Self-Representation Erroneously Denied By State Court

Ineffective Assistance Of Post Conviction Counsel May Permit New Challenge To Conviction Or Sentence

ineffective assistance

In many states and at the federal level, claims of trial, sentencing, and appellate ineffectiveness must be raised through post-conviction proceedings. But what happens if your post-conviction lawyer fails to raise a claim of ineffective assistance that could have won? Or, what if you did not have a lawyer when you filed your post-conviction motion,…

Continue Reading Ineffective Assistance Of Post Conviction Counsel May Permit New Challenge To Conviction Or Sentence

Attorney Abandonment Claim Remanded For A Hearing

attorney abandonment

Mark Christeson filed a motion to re-open his habeas proceedings under Rule 60(b) arguing that his attorney’s failure to timely submit his 28 U.S.C. § 2254 petition (used by state prisoners but similar to a 2255) constituted attorney abandonment. The abandonment issue was key to resolving whether “extraordinary circumstances” existed to warrant granting Rule 60…

Continue Reading Attorney Abandonment Claim Remanded For A Hearing

Burrage Applies Retroactively To Cases On Collateral Review

burrage-retroactive

In Burrage v. United States, 134 S. Ct. 881 (2014), the Supreme Court held that “at least where use of the drug distributed by the defendant is not an independently sufficient cause of the victim’s death or serious bodily injury, a defendant cannot be liable under the penalty enhancement provision of 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(C)…

Continue Reading Burrage Applies Retroactively To Cases On Collateral Review
Call Now ButtonCall Now