Archive | safety valve

Monday, February 27th, 2023

Supreme Court to review the scope of the expanded “safety valve.”

Today the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Pulsifer v. United States, No. 22-340, to clarify the First Step Act’s expansion of 18 U.S.C. § 3553(f)’s “safety valve.”

Section 3553(f) permits a district court to sentence a defendant below the otherwise applicable statutory mandatory minimum for federal drug offenses if the defendant meets certain criteria. The 2018 First Step Act expanded this provision.

As relevant here, to be eligible for the safety valve, a defendant must have a limited number of criminal history points. The defendant must “not have–

(A) more than 4 criminal history points, excluding any criminal history points resulting from
a 1-point offense, as determined under the sentencing guidelines;

(B) a prior 3-point offense, as determined under the sentencing guidelines; and

(C) a prior 2-point violent offense, as determined under the sentencing guidelines ….”

The “and” has been a source of confusion.

Several circuits hold the “and” …

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Categories: safety valve, sentencing

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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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Friday, April 6th, 2012

The Lyin’ King

United States v. Oyewumi, No. 10-3427(L) (2d Cir. March 29, 2012) (Wesley, Carney, CJJ, Cedarbaum, DJ)

Defendant-appellant Saeed went through the entire district court process – arrest, trial, safety-valve proffer and sentence – under the name Reginald Davis, a stolen identity. He also, according to a footnote in this opinion,tried to continue using that identity in the circuit, but the court would not permit it. It is his use of that identity that generated the most action on his appeal.

Saeed was arrested in 2009 after law enforcement agents seized a package at Newark Airport that contained 787 grams of heroin. A controlled delivery, followed by some monitored telephone calls, ultimately implicated Saeed. Saeed’s attorney told the government that Saeed might be eligible for safety-valve relief. Warning that Saeed would have to reveal his true identity, the government invited him to a proffer. Saeed attended, and continued to insist that …

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Categories: false statements, materiality, safety valve, Uncategorized

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