florida false imprisonment

Florida False Imprisonment Conviction Not Necessarily “Crime Of Violence”

By Brandon Sample | February 12, 2017

Florida false imprisonment under Florida Statute 787.02 does not categorically satisfy the ACCA’s elements clause,” the Eleventh Circuit recently held. United States v. Driver, No. 14-11555 (11th Cir. 2017). False imprisonment under the statute means “forcibly, by threat, or secretly confining, abducting, imprisoning, or restraining another person without lawful authority and against her or his will.” According…

oregon drug delivery

Oregon Drug Delivery Conviction Not A Federal “Controlled Substance Offense” For Career Offender Purposes

By Brandon Sample | February 12, 2017

Oregon drug delivery conviction under Oregon Revised Statutes 475.992(1)(a) is not a “controlled substance offense” under federal law, according to the Ninth Circuit. Sandoval v. Yates, No. 13-71784 (9th Cir. 2017). This is an important case for criminal defendants because of its impact on individuals with career offender enhancements. The court held that Oregon drug delivery…

attorney abandonment

Attorney Abandonment Claim Remanded For A Hearing

By Brandon Sample | February 12, 2017

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…

career offender-texas-drug-prior

Career Offender Enhancement Cannot Be Based On Texas Possession With Intent To Distribute Conviction

By Brandon Sample | February 12, 2017

Dantana Tanksley was previously convicted in Texas under Section 481.112(a) of the Texas controlled substances act of possessing with intent to distribute a controlled substance. He was later enhanced as a career offender under federal sentencing guidelines. Career Offender Enhancement | Controlled Substance Act | Dantana Tanksley Under the federal sentencing guidelines, an individual can…

mvra restitution

MVRA Restitution And Loss Amount Inadequate, Eleventh Circuit Holds

By Brandon Sample | February 12, 2017

Mitchell Stein, a former attorney, challenged the district court’s loss and MVRA restitution determination in a mail, wire, and securities fraud prosecution arguing that the Government had failed to demonstrate both factual and legal causation for the loss amount. MVRA Restitution | Loss Amount Inadequate | Sentencing.net Using the same standard for Stein’s loss and…

child pornography-sentence

Child Pornography Sentence Improper Because Judge Treated Guidelines As Binding

By Brandon Sample | February 12, 2017

Roy Perry was sentenced to 151 months for receipt of child pornography. At sentencing, the court stated “I’m probably going to give him a Guideline sentence because it would be really an act of, I don’t know what you call it, defiance, maybe not, to give him a variant sentence.” The Court also stated that…


Burrage Applies Retroactively To Cases On Collateral Review

By Brandon Sample | February 12, 2017

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)…

supervised release-no-jurisdiction

Supervised Release Cannot Be Revoked After Supervision Term Ends

By Brandon Sample | February 12, 2017

Anthony Holman’s supervised release was revoked for failing to pay restitution and picking up a new charge. However, the violation petition was not submitted until after Holman’s term of supervision had already expired. No summons was pending at the time either. Generally, whenever a U.S. Probation Officer believes that a defendant has violated his or…

ex parte-communications

Ex Parte Communications By Judge With Jury Required Reversal Of Convictions

By Brandon Sample | February 12, 2017

At Martin Bradley III’s trial for racketeering, mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering, the district court had two ex parte communications with the jury. Bradley’s defense lawyers did not become aware of notes until after his appeal. Bradley filed a 2255 motion arguing, in addition to other things, that the court had violated Rule…

Drug Treatment And Vocational Training Improper Sentencing Considerations

Drug Treatment And Vocational Training Improper Sentencing Considerations

By Brandon Sample | February 11, 2017

Christopher Thornton moved for a downward variance at sentencing arguing, among other things, that “in-prison treatment during the proposed thirty-eight months would help mitigate any potential risk he posed to the community.” The district court denied the motion, but in doing so said that Thornton had “mental-health issues, and he needs treatment” and that the…