Archive | sentencing allocution

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019

The Second Circuit issues an amended opinion in United States v. Pugh, No. 17-1889-cr, __F.3d__, 2019 WL 6708812 (Dec. 10, 2019) (“Pugh II”), a material support to terrorism case. As in the initial opinion — that was discussed in this blog on Sept. 3, 2019 — the Circuit affirms the convictions, but vacates consecutive prison sentences (totaling 420 months) as procedurally unreasonable because of the inadequate statement of reasons for the sentences.

Yesterday, the Circuit issued an amended opinion in United States v. Pugh. The initial decision issued on August 29, 2019 (United States v. Pugh, 937 F.3d 108) and was discussed in this blog. See infra, posting of Sept. 3, 2019.

The Amended Opinion reaches the same results as the initial opinion. The Circuit  (1) rules against the defendant on the marital communications privilege, Pugh II, 2019 WL 6708812 at *2-*4 ; (2) finds sufficient evidence of an “attempt” to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization (18 U.S.C. § 2339B(a)(1)), id. at *4-*6; and (3) finds sufficient evidence of obstruction and attempted obstruction of an “official proceeding” (18 U.S.C. §§ 1512(c)(1),  (c)(2)), id. at *6-*7 ; but (4) vacates consecutive sentences totaling 420 months’ imprisonment because of the inadequacy of the Judge’s explanation for the consecutive sentences. Id. at *8-*12.

The Amended Opinion corrected …

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Categories: 3553(c), evidence, marital communications privilege, Material Support, material support statute, obstruction of justice, official proceeding, sentencing, sentencing allocution, terrorism

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Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

Dont Speak!

United States v. Gutierrez, No. 08-3581-cr (2d Cir. February 11, 2009)(Cabranes, Sotomayor, CJJ, Rakoff, DJ)

Before Gutierrez was sentenced, his counsel filed a lengthy sentencing memorandum outlining five separate grounds for a below-guideline sentence. The government’s written response sought a guideline sentence. At sentencing, the court did not address the attorneys at all. It gave Gutierrez an opportunity to speak, indicated that it had considered the § 3553(a) factors, then imposed a sentence at the bottom of the guideline range.

Defense counsel objected, pointing out that the court had not considered the issues raised in his sentencing memorandum, and that the court had imposed a sentence without giving counsel a chance to speak. At counsel’s request, the court vacated the sentence. Counsel then argued the issues in the sentencing memorandum, and the government briefly responded, again asserting that a guideline sentence would be appropriate. Counsel responded by pointing out that …

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Categories: Rule 32, sentencing allocution, Uncategorized

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Saturday, June 14th, 2008

Allocution Lessons

United States v. Gonzalez, No. 07-4824-cr (2d Cir. June 11, 2008) (Newman, Walker, Pooler, CJJ)

In this case, the circuit sets out the procedure that a district court should follow when it realizes that it has sentenced a defendant without first giving him an opportunity to allocute. It also criticizes the imposition of the statutory maximum sentence.

1. Facts

Gonzalez admitted that he violated his supervised release by possessing marijuana. At a sentencing hearing, Judge Conti, visiting from the Northern District of California, heard from the probation officer, who reported that Gonzalez was released from prison in November of 2006. He was sent from there to immigration custody, and released by immigration about two weeks later. Although the officer sent him three notices, Gonzalez never reported to probation. The officer later learned that Gonzalez had been convicted of two petty offenses after his release.

With respect to the failure to …

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Categories: sentencing allocution, substantive reasonableness, Uncategorized

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