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 will “ensure that the defendant has the benefit of counsel to review the written statement of reasons … and ensure that no meritorious issues that arrive in connection with that written entry are overlooked.”

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