Archive | Anders

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

No Need to Remand Me

United States v. Elbert, No. 10-72-cr (2d Cir. September 19, 2011)(Jacobs, Cabranes, CJJ, Kravitz, DJ)

A recent anomaly in circuit practice has been its treatment of cases where the district court did not provide a written statement of reasons for the sentence that complies with 18 U.S.C. § 3553(c)(2). In cases where appellate counsel files a merits brief, counsel can waive a remand for a statement of reasons. But, where counsel files an Anders brief, under United States v. Hall, 499 F.3d 152 (2d Cir. 2007), failure to provide a statement of reasons always necessitates a remand.

Until now. This decision abrogates Hall to the “limited extent that it uniformly require remand in these circumstances.” Hall was based on the court’s understanding that the statement of reasons “assists” the BOP and the Sentencing Commission “in the collection of data.” While that is “no doubt for the good,” its effect is …

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Categories: Anders, statement of reasons, Uncategorized

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Saturday, March 20th, 2010

An Exercise in Frivolity

United States v. Davis, No. 08-3240-cr (2d Cir. March 15, 2010)
(Winter, Sack, CJJ, Cogan, DJ)

Davis pled guilty to a two-count child pornography indictment. He faced a 60-month mandatory minimum and a guideline range of 97 to 121 months’ imprisonment. At sentencing, he argued forcefully for a 60-month sentence, focusing on his age and health problems as well as his conduct – he had no contact with a child, and did not distribute the images. The court sentenced him at the bottom of the range, noting “I see no reason to deviate form the ranges that are set forth in the Sentencing Guidelines.”

On appeal, he argued that the sentence was procedurally unreasonable because the district court treated the guidelines as presumptively reasonable, and that it was substantively unreasonable for largely the same reasons he cited in the district court. The government, in response, did not file an opposition …

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Saturday, September 29th, 2007

Follow The Bouncing Anders

United States v. Whitley, Docket No. 05-3359-cr (2d Cir. September 17, 2007) (Straub, Pooler, Parker, CJJ) (per curiam)

Once – or rather twice – again, in these consolidated appeals, the Circuit has bounced Anders briefs. Here the court was dissatisfied with the briefs’ treatment of the reasonableness of the sentence. One “merely recite[d] the legal standard for procedural reasonableness and desribe[d] the sentencing process” but did not analyze either the procedural or substantive reasonableness of the sentence itself. The other made conclusory statements about the reasonableness of the sentence but did not analyze the district court’s sentencing determinations or the sentence itself.

After reviewing the purposes of Anders briefs, the court held that such briefs must include a discussion of both the substantive and procedural reasonableness of the sentence, reminding the bar that there is no presumption of reasonableness for Guidelines sentences in this Circuit.

What is the lesson here? …

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Categories: Anders, presumption, procedural reasonableness, sentence, substantive reasonableness, Uncategorized

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Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

Tear Up That Anders Brief – The Court Has Found An Issue!

United States v. Hall, No. 05-6919-cr (2d Cir. August 30, 2007) (Calabresi, Raggi, Hall [no apparent relation], CJJ) (per curiam)

This case adds yet another wrinkle to the Circuit’s ever-evolving Anders jurisprudence. Here, the defendant appealed a below-Guidelines sentence and counsel filed a detailed Anders brief. In that brief, counsel correctly pointed out that the district court had omitted the written statement of reasons required by 18 U.S.C. § 3553(c)(2) but argued that any claim of error on this ground would be harmless, since the court gave adequate oral reasons.

Instead of granting Anders relief, however, the Court of Appeals remanded the case to the district court with instructions to include a written statement of reasons. The Court noted that the statement of reasons might affect way that the Bureau of Prisons treats the defendant, and thus directed counsel to remain on the case until the statement is filed. This …

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Categories: 3553(c)(2), Anders, frivolous, judgment, statement of reasons, Uncategorized

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