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, 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 drug treatment” and that…

Amendment 782, mandatory minimum

Amendment 782 Motion Reconsideration

By Brandon Sample | February 11, 2017

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 minimum was 30 years for his CCE conviction.…

Bodily Injury Enhancement, First Circuit, Court of Appeals, sentencing,

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…