Noticias Judiciales & Actualizaciones

Harris Deutch Letter Requesting Supplemental Funding for Public Defense (4.8.20)

Text of the letter is below; you may read the original letter in PDF format. The Honorable Nancy Pelosi Speaker House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515 The Honorable Mitch McConnell Senate Majority Leader United States Senate Washington, DC 20510 The Honorable Kevin McCarthy Minority Leader House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515 The Honorable Charles E. Schumer Senate Minority Leader United States Senate Washington, DC 20510 Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader McCarthy, Leader McConnell and Leader Schumer: As we continue our work to support the American people during the coronavirus pandemic, we write to ask that any future coronavirus stimulus package contain sufficient funding to support federal, state, and local public defense. On March 27, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the third relief package in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The CARES Act offered an additional $3 million for U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, as compared to just $1 million for Defender Services. This disparity in emergency funding exacerbates longstanding inequities in the funding and resources available to public defenders—disparities that make it much harder for poor defendants to receive fairness and due process. That is why Senator Kamala D. Harris and Representative Theodore E. Deutch [...]

abril 8th, 2020|

United States v. Jones, No. 17-12240 (Oct. 25, 2018)

In United States v. Jones, No. 17-12240 (Oct. 25, 2018) (Marcus, Tjoflat, Newsom), the Court held that Florida second-degree murder is a violent felony under the elements clause of the Armed Career Criminal Act. The Court rejected the defendant's primary argument that the use of poison did not constitute the use of physical force.  Prior circuit precedent had rejected that exact argument in the context of Florida first-degree murder.  And the only difference between first and second degree murder pertained to the mental state, which the Court found made no difference to the elements-clause analysis.

octubre 25th, 2018|

United States v. Carthen, No. 16-17653 (Oct. 25, 2018)

In United States v. Carthen, No. 16-17653 (Oct. 25, 2018) (Martin, William Pryor, Baldock), the Court affirmed the defendants' robbery and firearms convictions and sentences over multiple challenges. First, the Court found sufficient evidence that one of the defendants conspired to commit a robbery and voluntarily participated in the robbery with a firearm. Second, the Court found no plain error in admitting statements by the defendants' co-conspirator under the hearsay exception in 801(d)(2)(E).  The Court ruled that, when determining whether a conspiracy existed and whether the statement was made during the course of it, the court may rely on information provided by the co-conspirator as well as independent external evidence.  The Court found enough evidence of a conspiracy to satisfy the exception. Third, the Court found no abuse of discretion under Rule 608(b) by excluding the testimony of two defense witnesses designed to show that the co-conspirator had lied in other judicial proceedings.  The Court reasoned that the Rule prohibited that evidence because it was designed only to make a general showing that the witness had a dishonest character. Fourth, the Court held that the 924(c) sentencing scheme, resulting in a mandatory 57-term for the defendants here, did not violate [...]

octubre 25th, 2018|

United States v. Garcia, No. 14-11845 (Oct. 19, 2018)

In United States v. Garcia, No. 14-11845 (Oct. 19, 2018) (Marcus, Wilson, Graham (S.D. Ohio)), the Court affirmed the defendant's tax-related convictions. The primary issue was whether reversal was required because the district judge resumed trial without the presence of either the defendant or defense counsel for 3 to 10 minutes, during which time the government introduced inculpatory testimony.  The parties agreed that this was obviously constitutional error, and, although the Court found it troubling, the Court held that the error did not warrant reversal because the defendant could not show prejudice.  Bound by the en banc decision in Roy, the Court determined that this was trial error, rather than structural error, and it therefore could not presume prejudice.  The Court also found that the plain error, rather than the harmless error, standard of review applied, because the defendant had numerous opportunities to contemporaneously object to the error and failed to do so.  And, while the result might have been different had the government bore the burden to show harmlessness beyond a reasonable doubt, the Court concluded that the defendant could not meet her burden show that the plain error affected her substantial rights in light of: the cumulative nature [...]

octubre 22nd, 2018|

Accepting Applications for the Criminal Just Act Panel

PUBLIC NOTICE CONCERNING CJA PANEL MEMBERSHIP The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida is seeking applicants for the SDFL Criminal Justice Act Panel (CJA Panel) for a three-year term beginning October 1, 2018. The CJA Panel is comprised of private attorneys who are authorized to serve as appointed defense counsel pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3006A. In accordance with the CJA Plan for the SDFL, attorneys must meet the following minimum qualifications to apply for the CJA Panel: Be a member in good standing of the Bar for the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida and the Florida Bar; Have at least five years criminal practice experience as an attorney licensed to practice in any state or the District of Columbia, or three years of experience as an Assistant Federal Public Defender or Assistant United States Attorney; For the trial panel, have participated in ten felony trials of which at least three were in federal felony trials. Any applicant who has not tried at least three federal criminal jury trials must audit three pre-trial proceedings including motions hearings, three sentencing hearings and three jury trials in [...]

julio 16th, 2018|

United States v. Morales, No. 16-16507 (June 29, 2018)

In United States v. Morales, No. 16-16507 (June 29, 2018) (Ed Carnes, Marcus, Ross), the Court upheld the defendant's felon in possession conviction and sentence. First, the Court upheld the denial of the defendant's motion to suppress a warrantless search of the home based on the consent of a co-occupant.  The Court determined that the consent was voluntary because the two officers did not threaten or intimidate her, she was not restrained, she fully cooperated, and they explained that she had the right to refuse consent.  The Court then rejected the defendant's argument that her consent was invalid because the officers intentionally declined to ask him, a physically present co-occupant, for consent.  The Court emphasized that the defendant did not object, even though he was not far away from the door, and there was no evidence that the officers intentionally removed him from the area so that he could not refuse consent.  And the officers were not required to ask him whether he objected where the co-occupant consented. Second, the Court found that the evidence was sufficient to support the conviction.  The defendant admitted that he found the guns, brought them into the home, and placed them in the bag [...]

junio 29th, 2018|
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