Archive | criminal history

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

SUNY Trustees Vote to Remove Question about Felony Convictions from Their Applications

Today SUNY voted to remove questions from applications about the applicant’s criminal record. This is an important step towards making access to education easier for people who have been convicted of crimes.

As explained in a detailed report from the New York City Bar Association*, over the past decade, colleges and universities have increasingly included criminal history screenings and exclusionary policies in their admissions processes, even though there is no empirical evidence that students with criminal records pose a greater risk to campus safety than students without criminal records. Often, this process imposes a great burden on applicants with criminal records. Applicants must answer numerous supplemental questions and produce extensive documentation. The process can be daunting and frustrating, and the practical impact is that many of these applicants are either unable to provide the required documentation and simply abandon the application process altogether.

Until now, SUNY which consists of 64 …

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Categories: criminal history

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Thursday, May 26th, 2016

No Wins for Criminal Defendants Today

The Court issued two summary orders in criminal cases today. Neither Appellant prevailed.

  1. United States v. Humphries, No. 14-985-cr (2d Cir. May 26, 2016) (Cabranes, Straub, and Lohier)

Humphries was convicted after a jury trial of interstate travel in aid of racketeering, conspiracy to commit wire fraud to defeat Canadian tax revenue, conspiracy to manufacture tobacco products without a license, and money laundering. He was sentence to 72 months in prison.

On appeal, Humphries raised four arguments: (1) insufficiency of the trial evidence; (2) improper preclusion of certain affirmative defenses; (3) constructive amendment of the indictment; and (4) improper failure to suspend jury deliberations when it became “apparent” that he was no longer competent to stand trial. The Court addressed only the sufficiency argument, rejecting the other three claims without discussion.

The Court first held that the evidence was sufficient to establish Humphries’s intent to “distribute the proceeds of …

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Categories: criminal history, sufficiency, supervised release

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Friday, May 13th, 2016

District Court Updates: Driving While Impaired Violation Under NY VTL 1192.1 Does Not Count For Criminal History; Career Offender Guideline Too Harsh

In United States v. Paredes, 15-Cr-436, EDNY Judge Jack B. Weinstein held that a defendant’s conviction for violating New York Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1192.1, a violation and not a crime, does not result in criminal history points, thereby allowing the defendant to qualify for safety valve relief from a mandatory minimum sentence.  Judge Weinstein concluded that the Sentencing Commission could not have intended to include VTL 1192.1 – New York’s Driving While Ability Impaired statute – because the statue “is a light, noncriminal offense with mens rea squeezed out of it.”  Opinion at 14.  You can read Judge Weinstein’s opinion here.  The New York Law Journal has coverage here.  Mr. Paredes was represented by Len Kamdang of the Federal Defenders of New York.

In United State v Henry, 15-Cr-179, SDNY Judge Paul A. Crotty imposed a sentence of 36 months in a case in …

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Categories: career offender, criminal history, safety valve, Uncategorized

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Thursday, March 15th, 2012

PC World

United States v. Roccisano, No. 10-5237-cr (2d Cir. March 14, 2012) (Katzmann, Parkjer, CJJ, Restani, JCIT) (per curiam)

Guideline section 4A1.1(d) adds two criminal history points if the defendant committed the federal offense while under a criminal justice sentence, e.g., probation, parole or supervised release. The defendant here was deported to Italy in 2006 after completing the prison portion of a federal drug sentence that included a five-year term of supervised release. He was found in the United States in 2010, before the term of supervised release had expired, and the district court assessed those points. On appeal, he argued that this was error, because he had never been actively supervised in light of his deportation.

The circuit rejected this argument, joining at least five other circuits in holding that a term of supervised release is not extinguished by the defendant’s deportation. The court also noted that the amended version …

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Categories: criminal history, supervised release, Uncategorized

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Saturday, June 19th, 2010

PC World

United States v. Vallejo, No. 09-1673-cr (2d Cir. June 11, 2010) (Winter, Cabranes, Raggi, CJJ) (per curiam)

This latest per curiam opinion looks at the petty offense exception to the Sentencing Guidelines’ criminal history rules, set out in U.S.S.G. § 4A1.2(c)(1). That provision excludes from the criminal history score prior sentences for certain petty offenses and “offenses similar to them.” On appeal, Vallejo argued that his two prior convictions for unauthorized use of a vehicle in New York State were for an offense “similar to” the listed offense of careless or reckless driving.

But the circuit held that Vallejo had waived the claim. For one of them, a 2001 conviction, after a sentencing hearing he “expressly acknowledged” that the conduct underlying the conviction – stripping parts from a stolen car – warranted the assessment of a criminal history point. For the other, the underlying conduct was identical, so he waived …

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Categories: 4A1.2(c), criminal history, Uncategorized

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