Archive | Uncategorized

Tuesday, February 1st, 2005

District Court Erred in Considering “Ex Post Data” in Collateral Challenge to Deportation

In United States v. Scott, No. 04-937-cr (January 11, 2005), the Court considered several important questions relating to collateral challenges to the deportation underlying an illegal reentry prosecution.

Background

Kevin Eric Scott had previously appealed the district court’s denial of his motion to dismiss the indictment, and the Court had remanded the case to the district court to consider the effect of United States v. Perez, 330 F.3d 97 (2d Cir. 2003), which was decided while Scott’s appeal was pending. On remand, the Scott again challenged his deportation, asserting that his immigration attorney’s failure to seek 212(c) relief amounted to a due process voilation. The district court rejected this argument, and again denied the motion to dismiss.

The Court’s Ruling

In this second appeal, the Court again held that, as in Perez, ineffective assistance of counsel at a deportation hearing could be the basis for a collateral …

Posted by
Categories: Uncategorized

Posted By
Categories: Uncategorized

Continue Reading

Court Reverses Habeas Denial Based Upon New Evidence that Gotti Threatened to Kill Co-Defendant’s Counsel If He Abandoned Joint Defense

Frank Locascio v. United States of America, Docket No. 03-2485 (2d Cir. Jan. 12, 2005) (Walker, Winter, and Jacobs) (Op. by Winter)

Facts: In October 2000, Frank Locacio filed a Section 2255 petition, alleging that he was not afforded the effective assistance of counsel at his 1992 trial with co-defendant John Gotti. The petition was based on counsel’s alleged failure to pursue certain lines of cross-examination in order to protect Gotti.

Two years later, while the petition was still pending, Locacio filed a motion to amend the petition based on new allegations contained in an affidavit from habeas counsel, who claimed that Locacio’s trial counsel, Anthony Carnivale, had revealed that Gotti had threatened to kill him if he “individualized the interest of Locacio at Gotti’s expense.” As a result of the threat, the affidavit alleged that Carnivale was, among other things, (1) prevented from (1) cross-examining the Government’s main …

Posted by
Categories: Uncategorized

Posted By
Categories: Uncategorized

Continue Reading
Monday, January 31st, 2005

Circuit Vacates Grant of Habeas Based on Prosecution’s Use of Incriminating Statement Obtained during Un-Mirandized Pedigree Questioning of Defendant

Jose Rosa v. Frank McCray, Docket No. 04-2188 (2d Cir. Jan. 27, 2005) (Miner, Cabranes, and Straub) (Op. by Miner) (Dissent Op. by Straub)

Facts: On September 5, 1997, the victim (“V”) was robbed at gunpoint by two men. V subsequently went to the police and described one of the robbers — the one carrying the gun –as having “brown hair, with the ends slightly lighter.”

The following day, V saw petitioner Rosa standing on the sidewalk. Though Rosa’s hair appeared to be blonde, V identified him as the man who robbed her at gunpoint. V called the police, who promptly arrested Rosa.

At the police station, the same detective who had interviewed V the previous day asked Rosa a series pedigree questions while completing the on-line booking form. These questions were not preceded by Miranda warnings. “As to Rosa’s hair color, [the detective] — noticing that Rosa’s …

Posted by
Categories: Uncategorized

Posted By
Categories: Uncategorized

Continue Reading

Bank Larceny Not a “Qualifying Federal Offense” Under the Old DNA Act

United States v. Peterson, No. 03-1454 (2d Cir. Jan. 10, 2005):



Summary:



Government bloodsuckers may not force a probationary defendant to submit a DNA sample under the old DNA Act where his original conviction was for bank larceny. At the time Peterson was sentenced, the DNA Act required that all persons convicted of a “qualifying federal offense” were to submit a DNA sample while on supervised release, parole or probation (the Act was subsequently amended on October 30, 2004 making “any felony” a qualifying offense). The district judge dismissed the government’s petition to summon Peterson to a probation violation hearing, finding that bank larceny was not a qualifying federal offense. The appeal raised two issues: (1) whether the government was authorized to appeal a district court’s ruling dismissing a petition for a probation violation hearing; and (2) was bank larceny a qualifying federal offense? The answers were (1) yes …

Posted by
Categories: Uncategorized

Posted By
Categories: Uncategorized

Continue Reading

Creating Perverse Incentives for Lackluster Advocacy in the New York Court of Appeals? The Second Circuit’s Exhaustion Jurisprudence, Cont’d.

(By guest blogger Darrell Fields, Associate Counsel, Appeals Bureau of the Federal Defender Division):

In Galdamez v. Keane, No. 03-2595, 2005 WL 15136 (2d Cir. Jan. 4, 2005) (Op. by Sotomayor), the Second Circuit held that a New York prisoner seeking habeas corpus relief (28 U.S.C. § 2254) had exhausted all of the claims he had raised in his Appellate Division briefs simply by asking the New York Court of Appeals for leave to appeal and then sending his Appellate Division briefs to that Court. His lawyer accomplished this by sending two cryptic letters to New York’s highest court. The lawyer’s first letter noted that he was enclosing a copy of the Appellate Division decision affirming Galdamez’s conviction and stated that “appellant hereby requests leave to appeal to this Court.” The second letter merely stated that he was enclosing “the briefs submitted to the Appellate Division together with the …

Posted by
Categories: Uncategorized

Posted By
Categories: Uncategorized

Continue Reading

A Foley Square “Time Warp”? A Post-Booker Guidelines Decision.

United States v. Sash, No. 04-0499 (2d Cir. Jan. 26, 2005) (Walker, Miner, and Cabranes) (Op. by Miner).

In this opinion, issued two weeks after the Supreme Court’s decision in Booker (see entry below), the Second Circuit engages in a detailed analysis of Section 2B1.1(b)(9)(C)(ii) of the Guidelines, which calls for a 2-level enhancement when the offense “involved . . . the possession of 5 or more means of identification that unlawfully were produced from, or obtained by the use of, another means of identification.” The Court rejected the defendant’s argument that his conduct — replicating police badges for police officers — did not trigger the enhancement because it did not involve true identify theft, holding that the plain language of the Guideline controlled.

What’s interesting about the opinion is not what it discusses, but what it doesn’t discuss — namely, Booker (or even Blakely). The original sentencing …

Posted by
Categories: Uncategorized

Posted By
Categories: Uncategorized

Continue Reading

Dismissal of § 2254 Petitioner’s First Habeas Petition by Reason of Tardiness Renders Future Petitions “Second or Successive” under § 2244(b)

Murray v. Greiner and Arce v. Fischer, Nos. 01-3833, 02-3574 (2d Cir. Jan. 5, 2005) (Leval & Cabranes, and Garaufis, D.J.) (Op. by Leval) :



This decision simply extends Villanueva v. United States, 346 F.3d 55 (2d Cir. 2003), holding that dismissal of a § 2255 petition on grounds of untimliness under § 2244(d) (establishing 1-year period to file such a petition) renders subsequent petitions “second or successive” within the meaning of § 2244(b) (and thus subject to its nearly impossible to satisfy gatekeeping requirements), to § 2254 petitions filed by state prisoners. The reasoning is that (1) the dismissal of a habeas petition will render subsequent petitions “second or successive” if the petition was “adjudicated on the merits”; (2) dismissal of a prior petition on grounds that presented a “permanent and incurable” bar to federal review qualifies as an adjudication on the merits; and (3) dismissal of …

Posted by
Categories: Uncategorized

Posted By
Categories: Uncategorized

Continue Reading
Tuesday, January 25th, 2005

Second Circuit Rejects Connecticut’s Effort to Vacate Stay of Execution

Michael B. Ross, by next friend Gerard A. Smyth, v. Theresa Lantz, No. 05-8900 (2d Cir. Jan. 25, 2005) (Sack, Katzmann, and Hall) (per curiam)



FACTS: Michael Ross, convicted of murder in Connecticut, was scheduled to be executed on Wednesday, January 26, 2005, at 2 a.m. Ross (a so-called death penalty “volunteer”) has declined to challenge his death sentence, but lawyers from the state public defender’s office filed a habeas petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 on his behalf as “next friend.” The public defender’s office contends that Ross is not mentally competent to surrender his post-conviction rights. It presented testimony to Chief Judge Chatigny (of the District of Connecticut) from a psychiatrist indicating that Ross may not have been competent when he decided to forgo further challenges to his conviction and sentence due to years of seclusion on death row.

Yesterday, January 24th, Chief Judge …

Posted by
Categories: Uncategorized

Posted By
Categories: Uncategorized

Continue Reading

Second Circuit Finally Puts an End to Judge Kram’s Practice of Conducting Pleas and Sentencings in Her Robing Room

United States v. Carlos Goiry and Luz Marina Munoz, Nos. 02-1010, 03-1061 (2d Cir. Jan. 24, 2005) (No. 02-1010: Walker, Cardamone, and Straub) (No. 03-1061: Winter, Straub, and Lay) (Opinion by Straub).

FACTS: In two cases consolidated on appeal, the defendants-appellants both entered guilty pleas and were sentenced by Judge Shirley Kram of the Southern District of New York. Judge Kram conducted the guilty plea proceeding (in one case) and the sentencing (in the other case) in her robing room, located just off her courtroom. As anyone who has practiced before Judge Kram knows, this is her standard practice.

Judge Kram did not make any findings to justify her actions, nor did she notify the public that she intended to close these proceedings. None of the parties objected to Judge Kram’s decision to conduct the proceedings in her robing room.

HELD: Conducting plea and sentencing proceedings in the …

Posted by
Categories: Uncategorized

Posted By
Categories: Uncategorized

Continue Reading
Monday, January 17th, 2005

United States v. Booker, No. 04-104 (U.S. Sup. Ct. Jan. 12, 2005): A Day-After Analysis

I. The Holding:

1. Stevens for a 5-justice majority: The rule of Apprendi and Blakely – that the maximum sentence a judge may impose is the maximum sentence authorized on the basis of facts reflected in the jury verdict or admitted by the defendant – applies to the Sentencing Guidelines.

A. That is, Booker holds that the top of the Guideline range, as determined solely by facts found by the jury or admitted by the defendant at a guilty plea, constitutes the “statutory maximum” for Apprendi-Blakely purposes.

B. Thus, a judge may not impose a sentence higher than the top of this range based on facts that s/he alone has found.

2. Breyer for an entirely different 5-justice majority: The remedy for the Blakely violation in Booker’s case is simply to strike / excise two statutory provisions – 18 U.S.C. § 3553(b) and 18 U.S.C. § 3742(e). All else allegedly …

Posted by
Categories: Uncategorized

Posted By
Categories: Uncategorized

Continue Reading
Monday, December 6th, 2004

Sentence Reversed

US v. PABON-CRUZ, Case No. 03-1457 (12/03/04). Defendant’s conviction for receiving or distributing child pornography is affirmed, however, his sentence is vacated where the district court has discretion to sentence defendant to either a fine or a term of imprisonment of not less than ten years or both, a ruling which was not clear at the time of sentencing.

Posted by
Categories: Uncategorized

Posted By
Categories: Uncategorized

Continue Reading