Saturday, May 3rd, 2008

Summary Summary

This batch of summary orders of interest wraps up April. Here we go:

In United States v. Moya, No. 05-2432-cr (2d Cir. April 30, 2008), the district court erred in imposing a 2-level aggravating role enhancement. Where the defendant is not a manager or supervisor, but there are five or more participants, the district court’s choice is between a 3-level enhancement or no enhancement at all. “Compromise outcomes” are not permitted.

In United States v. Dono, No. 07-5333-cr (2d Cir. April 23, 2008), the district court erred in setting bail for two alleged members of an organized crime family who were charged with a crime of violence. The defendants did not overcome the statutory presumption of dangerousness, and the bail condition ordering them to stay away from the victims and not associate with other crime family members did “not ensure that they will comply.”

United States v. Desroches, No. 06-3196-cr (2d Cir. April 14, 2008), not surprisingly, rejected the defendant’s claims that he was a immune from federal prosecution as a “Sovereign American,” and because his prosecution had not been “authorized by the State of Vermont.”

In United States v. Johnson, No. 06-2026-cr (2d Cir. April 13, 2008), the defendant was convicted of felony murder in front of Judge Korman, who sentenced him to 30 years’ imprisonment on a finding that the murder was reckless, not intentional. After winning his appeal on Batson grounds, he was retried and reconvicted, this time in front of Judge Johnson, who, although the facts had not changed, sentenced him to life in prison. The circuit vacated the sentence. Judge Johnson should have determined whether the murder was reckless or intentional, and should have explained in more detail his reasons for imposing a drastically higher sentence after retrial.

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