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Mondragon-Santiago Clarified: Just How Much Explanation of a Within-Guidelines Sentence Is Necessary?
United States v. Camero-Renobato, No. 11-20224 (5th Cir. Feb. 8, 2012; rev. Feb. 17, 2012) (per curiam) (Benavides, Stewart, Higginson) On considering a challenge to the adequacy of the district court's explanation for a 71-month within-Guidelines sentence in an illegal reentry case: We clarify to...
So you're probably aware of the circuit split over whether a court in a district without a fast-track disposition program may vary downward from the advisory range in order to avoid unwarranted sentencing disparities with defendants sentenced in districts that do have such programs. Despite many...
The Fifth Circuit will be revisiting en banc its decision in In re Amy Unknown, 636 F.3d 190 (2011), a mandamus action arising out of Doyle Paroline's prosecution for possession of child pornography. Two of the images Paroline possessed were of Amy Unknown; the images had been produced years before...
SORNA's Registration Requirements Do Not Apply to Pre-Act Sex Offenders Until AG Validly Specifies That They Do Apply
Reynolds v. United States, No. 10-6549 (U.S. Jan. 23, 2012) One of the provisions of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act gives the Attorney General the authority to specify whether the Act's registration requirements apply to sex offenders whose convictions occurred prior to the...
§2L1.2 Enhancement for Unlawfully Remaining In U.S. Following Certain Convictions Applies Only If a Removal Order Was Issued or Reinstated After Such a Conviction (Even If Not in Response to It)
United States v. Nevares-Bustamante, No. 10-31110 (5th Cir. Jan. 25, 2012) (Higginbotham, Stewart; Haynes, specially concurring) Let's say an alien is deported a couple of times (both times following convictions of aggravated felonies), returns again to the United States, is convicted of rape in...
Fives Affirm Suppression of Un-Mirandized Statements Made In Response to Interrogation During Execution of Search Warrant at Suspect's Home
United States v. Cavazos, No. 11-50094 (5th Cir. Jan. 19, 2012) (Benavides, Prado, Alvarez, D.J.) Following Cavazos's successful motion to suppress un-Mirandized statements he made in response to interrogation during the execution of a search warrant at his home, the Government took an...
SCOTUS GVR's Breland In Light of SG's Position That Tapia Applies Equally to Revocation of Supervised Release
You'll recall that the Supreme Court held in Tapia v. United States that a court may not impose or lengthen a term of imprisonment in order to promote a defendant's rehabilitation. You'll also recall that the Fifth Circuit held in United States v. Breland that Tapia's holding does not apply when...
United States v. Hernandez, No. 10-10695 (5th Cir. July 18, 2011) (Jones, Higginbotham, Southwick) Let's suppose police decide to track a suspect by surreptitiously attaching a GPS device to his vehicle. Let's also suppose that the police did not obtain a warrant to conduct this electronic...
One of my colleagues alerted me to this unpublished opinion handed down today:
Circuit Split: Fourth Circuit Holds Government May Not Condition Motion for Third Acceptance Level on Appeal Waiver
United States v. Divens, No. 09-4967 (4th Cir. July 5, 2011) (Motz, Gregory, Shedd) As you'll recall, the Fifth Circuit held in United States v. Newson that the Government may refuse to move for the third acceptance level under guideline §3E1.1(b) if a defendant refuses to enter a plea agreement...