Showing 1 - 15 of 83 results
United States v. Walden, No. 2:92-cr-00366-MCS (C.D. Cal. Feb. 11, 2021)
Amended Order Granting Motion for Modification of Term of Imprisonment
Argument: Compassionate Release granted for a stacked 924(c) client. “Based on Walden’s seemingly exceptional personal growth, the severity of his Sentence relative to [his cofedendant]’s and modern sentencing laws, and his age and criminal history at the time of the offenses, the Court concludes that Walden has demonstrated extraordinary and compelling reasons that could justify reducing the Sentence…The Court thus concludes that requiring Walden to remain in prison pursuant to the Sentence until 2056 would not accomplish the objectives identified by Congress in § 3553.”
United States v. Jones, 482 F.Supp.3d 969 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 27, 2020)
Order granting motion for compassionate release.
Argument: Anthony Jones pleaded guilty to several counts, including five 924(c) counts. He was sentenced to 357 months, which the court reduced to time served in granting his motion, a total reduction of 15 months.
On retroactivity: “It cannot be denied that FSA § 403reflects a “legislative rejection” of stacking and a “legislative declaration of what level of punishment is adequate” for violations of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c). Redd, 444 F.Supp.3d at 723-24. Though the statute did not provide automatic relief to defendants like Mr. Jones, it has in no uncertain terms established that sentences like Mr. Jones's “unfair and unnecessary.” Id.”
On finality of sentencing:
“The Court likewise rejects the Government's objection that reducing a defendant's sentence based on subsequent legal changes would “undermine the finality of sentences.” Opp. at 9. Although “the principle of finality” is indisputably “essential to the operation of our criminal justice system,” Teague v. Lane, 489 U.S. 288, 309, 109 S.Ct. 1060, 103 L.Ed.2d 334 (1989), it is not without exceptions. As the Ninth Circuit has explained, sentence reductions under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c) are “acts of lenity”; as such, they “are not constrained by the general policies underlying initial sentencing or even plenary resentencing proceedings.” United States v. Padilla-Diaz, 862 F.3d 856, 861 (9th Cir. 2017). In other words, 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c) represents Congress's judgment that the generic interest in finality must give way in certain individual cases.”
United States v. Gaines, 2020 WL 7641201 (W.D. Wash. Dec. 23, 2020)
Order granting motion for compassionate release.
Argument: Ivy Gaines was found guilty on 18 counts, including 8 924(c) counts, and sentenced to 182 years. Judge Zilly granted the motion for reduction at the re-sentencing hearing on Feb. 4th reducing the sentence to a total of 20 years, “close to time served.” In the sentencing transcript. Judge Zilly notes that:
“some of the recommendations and some of the positions the U.S. Attorney’s Office has taken in this case are troubling.” As well as this: “a sentence of 182 years, 56 years, or even 30 years, in my opinion, doe not give respect for the law. These sentences are far greater and typically given for more serious crimes. You could murder someone in the State of Washington, or in a federal jurisdiction where they have federal law, and you probably wouldn’t get a 56-year sentence.”
U.S. v. Smith 3:19-cr-00045-MMD-CLB (D. Nev.)
Order Granting Compassionate Release
Argument: The court found Mr. Smith at risk due to a number of factors, including race:
Additionally, Smith is a Black male. Smith argues that his race puts him at an increased risk of complications from COVID-19. (ECF No. 33 at 13-14.) The government fails to address the impact of Smith’s race on the extraordinary and compelling circumstances analysis. The CDC has collected data on the relationship between race and COVID-19 complications, hospitalizations, and deaths and concludes that “racial and ethnic minority groups are disproportionately represented among COVID-19 cases.” CDC, COVID-19 Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/health-equity/racial-ethnic-disparities/increased-risk-illness.html (last visited January 19, 2021). Further, the CDC finds that “systemic health and social inequities have put many people from racial groups at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19” and “increased risk of dying from COVID-19.” Id. Thus, the Court finds race is an additional factor weighing in favor of extraordinary and compelling circumstances.
U.S. v. Manglona 3:14-cr-05393-RJB (W.D. Wa.)
Order Granting Motion for Reconsideration and Granting Motion for Compassionate Release
Argument: From the Western District of Washington, granting release to a vaccinated client. The court found that after vaccination, "[r]isk appears to remain, but it is reduced to an unknown degree. The Court’s conclusion is that vaccination during the pendency of the Motion for Compassionate Release should not, and does not, in some way trump the Court’s consideration of the motion."
U.S. v. Gutierrez 2:14-cr-00239-KJM (E.D. Cal.)
Emergency Motion for Compassionate Release (Dec. 23, 2020)
Reply Supporting Compassionate Release (Jan 8, 2021)
Argument: Arguing that a vaccine in the near future isn’t soon enough for a client with obesity and high blood pressure, as well as arguing that clients with obesity are still at risk despite the vaccine, citing research on other vaccines indicating that, in general, vaccines are less effective on people with obesity.
Last Prisoner Project Amicus: United States v. Scarmazzo, 1:06CR342 (E.D. Cal. June 1, 2021)
Argument: Amicus brief filed on behalf of compassionate release motion discussing the over-criminization of marijuana; the significant changes in marijuana laws over the years, and arguing that incarceration of non-violent cannabis offenders fails to serve the public interest.
United States v. Gerald Green and Patricia Green
Case materials from the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) prosecution of Gerald and Patricia Green, United States v. Gerald Green and Patricia Green, Cr. No. 08-59-GW.
Argument: The Greens, owners of Los-Angeles-based Film Festival Management, Inc., were convicted after a jury trial in the Central District of California in September 2009 of conspiracy to violate the FCPA, violating the FCPA, committing money laundering, and other charges relating to bribes paid to government officials. The government alleged that the Greens paid government officials in Thailand in order to secure contracts to manage and operate Thailand’s yearly Bangkok International Film Festival and other contracts. In August 2010, U.S. District Court Judge George Wu sentenced the Greens to 6 months imprisonment, plus three years supervised release, and ordered to pay $250,000 each in restitution. Initially the government sought a higher sentence on appeal, but then dismissed its 9th Circuit appeal in August 2011. The Greens’ prison terms are the most lenient in the recent FCPA cases.
More Gerald and Patricia Green documents from DOJ
"Green Restitution Order Stands ... For Now," FCPA Professor, July 12, 2013.
"Prosecutors Drop Appeal of Short Sentence in Green FCPA Case," Securities Law Blog, August 29, 2011.
"Greens Get Six Months In Jail," The FCPA Blog, August 13, 2010.
"Verdict In ... Green's Found Guilty," FCPA Professor, September 14, 2009. [More coverage]
United States v. Stuart Carson, et al.
Case materials from the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) prosecution of Stuart Carson, United States v. Stuart Carson, et al., No. 8:09-cr-00077-JVS.
Argument: Control Components Inc. (CCI), a California based company, plead guilty in July 2009 to violations of the FCPA and the Travel Act. The government indicted CCI and some of its former employees for allegedly engaging in “a conspiracy to secure contracts by paying bribes to officials of foreign state-owned companies as well as officers and employees of foreign and domestic private companies” in about 36 countries. Seven defendants were convicted and received varying sentences ranging from home detention to more than three months incarceration.
- Tentative Order Denying Motion to Dismiss Indictment (May 14, 2012)
- Superseding Indictment of Paul Cosgrove (May 25, 2012)
More Stuart and Rose Carson documents from DOJ
"Recent Sentencing Activity," FCPA Professor Blog, April 30, 2013.
"DOJ recommends no jail for three CCI execs," FCPA Blog, February 7, 2013.
"Control Components CEO, Sales Manager Sentenced in FCPA Case," The Wall Street Journal, November 9, 2012.
"Edmonds [Final Defendant in Carson Case] Pleads Guilty As Trial Nears," FCPA Professor Blog, June 18, 2012.
"Guilty Plea in FCPA Case a Rare Victory for Government," The National Law Journal, May 31, 2012.
"Judge Selna Rejects State Actor Theory – [Denies Defense Motions to Suppress and Dismiss]," FCPA Professor, May 16, 2012.
"Husband And Wife Plead Guilty To FCPA Violations," The Wall Street Journal, April 17, 2012.
"Defendants in Carson FCPA Case File Two New Motions Attacking DOJ's Relationship With Their Corporation (Who Has Cooperated)," Federal Securities Law Blog, March 6, 2012
"In Carson Case, DOJ Agrees 'Foreign Official' Knowledge Is Required," FCPA Blog, September 27, 2011
"Judge Denies Travel Act Challenge," FCPA Blog, August 15, 2011
"Carson 'Foreign Official' Challenge Moves To Jury Instructions," FCPA Professor, July 5, 2011
United States v. Enrique Faustino Aguilar, et al. (Lindsey Mfr.)
Case materials from the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) prosecution of Lindsey Manufacturing, United States v. Enrique Faustino Aguilar, et al., No. CR 10-1031-AHM.
Argument: Lindsey Manufacturing was the first company to be tried and convicted of FCPA violations. A jury in the Central District of California found the company, a privately held manufacturer for electrical transmission and related products, guilty of one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA and five counts of FCPA violations in May 2011 for its alleged involvement in making payments to a Mexican state-owned utility company. In December 2011, a U.S. District Court Judge, A. Howard Matz, ruled that the prosecution had engaged in blatant misconduct and committed egregious Brady violations. The convictions were vacated and the indictment was dismissed. In May 2012 the Department of Justice voluntarily dismissed the case.
"Government Dismisses Lindsey Manufacturing Case Appeal," White Collar Crime Prof Blog, May 25, 2012.
"Judge Dismisses Landmark Bribery Conviction, Rips DOJ," The Wall Street Journal, December 1, 2011. [Related story on Government’s appeal]
"Lindsey Manufacturing Defendants Convicted On All Counts," Wall Street Journal Law Blog, May 10, 2011.
"Lindsey Case: Judge Issues Written Ruling on 'Foreign Official,'" The FCPA Blog, April 21, 2011. [Related coverage and analysis from The FCPA Blog and FCPA Professor]
"Historic Test For FCPA In Lindsey Trial," The FCPA Blog, April 1, 2011.
Gurrola v. Duncan
Brief Of Amici Curiae The Dkt Liberty Project, The Cato Institute, Collateral Consequences Resource Center, Clause 40 Foundation, Law Enforcement Action Partnership, The Macarthur Justice Center, The R Street Institute, The Sentencing Project, And The National Association Of Criminal Defense Lawyers In Support Of Plaintiffs-Appellants.
Argument: State licensing schemes that categorically bar individuals with prior criminal convictions from holding various professions are irrational. Across the country, these licensing schemes cover almost every profession imaginable. However, these regulations frequently do nothing other than bar those with criminal records from entering a profession. These regulations prevent those with felony convictions from, among other things, operating a taxicab, performing marriages, and working as a tag officer at a state department of motor vehicles. This is true regardless of whether the individual has been convicted of a major fraud, a violent crime, or something as minor as felony littering. States regularly impose criminal-history restrictions on occupational licenses that are entirely unrelated to the applicant’s fitness to be a contributing member to the profession. And these restrictions—which bar individuals with prior convictions from finding gainful employment—contribute to recidivism, further underscoring their irrationality. Although courts have held that these licensing schemes are subject to only rational basis review, rational basis is not a toothless standard; it requires that a court find some logical relationship between the restriction—here, two felony convictions—and the occupation being regulated—here, emergency medical technicians (“EMTs”). Courts historically have been critical of, and have struck down under this test, broad regulatory schemes that bar membership of an applicant who has any felony conviction. Because California’s regulatory scheme bars individuals convicted of any two felonies without regard for whether the crimes at issue implicate the applicant’s fitness to become an EMT, including to fight fires, this scheme likewise fails rational basis review. As a result, this Court should vacate the district court’s order granting the defendants’ motion to dismiss and remand this case for further proceedings.
United States v. Gear
Brief Amici Curiae of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and Aoki Center for Critical Race and Nation Studies in Support of Defendant-Appellant’s Petition for Rehearing En Banc.
Argument: In violation of his constitutional rights guaranteeing notice, due process, and trial by jury, Melvyn Gear was convicted of possessing a firearm while holding a non-immigrant visa because the jury was not instructed on that most subjective of the crime’s elements: knowing possession. Contrary to four circuits around the country, the Ninth Circuit panel applied a cramped and compressed plain error standard that failed to properly protect the surpassing constitutional rights at stake. The brief amici was filed to bring those decisions and their reasoning to the Ninth Circuit’s attention.