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 | 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Anthony Holman’s supervised release was revoked for failing to pay restitution and picking up a new charge.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…

Amendment 782

Amendment 782 Motion Reconsideration

By Brandon Sample | February 11, 2017

Motion Reconsideration Required Because Judge Misunderstood Mandatory Minimum Reinaldo Rivera moved for 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) relief based on Amendment 782 to the Guidelines, commonly known as “drugs minus 2.” The district court granted the motion and reduced his sentence to 420 months from LIFE. But in doing so, the district court believed Rivera’s mandatory…

bodily injury

Bodily Injury Enhancement Under U.S.S.G. § 2B3.1(b)(3)(A) Reversed

By Brandon Sample | June 15, 2016

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has to Cotto-Negron argued at sentencing that he should not receive a two-level bodily injury enhancement under U.S.S.G. 2B3.1(b)(3)(A) because his co-defendant, the day before, was not sentenced with the enhancement and the facts of their cases were identical. This enhancement applies when “any victim sustained…