Posts filtered by tags: Douglas A. Berman[x]


 

Post-Johnson litigation creates intricate procedural debates in Eleventh Circuit

Thanks to this post at How Appealing, I just saw that the Eleventh Circuit yesterday needed just one sentence to deny rehearing en banc in US v. St. Hubert, a case concerning vagueness challenges to two federal firearm convictions under 18 U.S.C. § 924(c).  But judges of the court had a lot to say thanks to the enduring constitutional and procedural mess created by the Johnson case and its progeny and their potential impact on federal prisoners serving all sorts of lengthy mandatory minimum sent...
Tags: Law, US, Johnson, Eleventh Circuit, Douglas A Berman, St Hubert


Rounding-up some news and commentary as SCOTUS hears argument on latest round of capital insanity

Albert Einstein is generally credited with the aphorism that "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results." That quote came to mind as I was thinking about the Supreme Court's consideration this morning of a Batson claim in Flowers v. Mississippi. Here is a brief accounting of just some of the backstory of this case (with emphasis added) from this SCOTUSblog post when cert was granted: [T]he justices will once again review the case of ...
Tags: Mississippi, Supreme Court, Law, Kentucky, Atlantic, Albert Einstein, Evans, Flowers, US supreme court, Mississippi Supreme Court, Doug Evans, Douglas A Berman, Batson, Curtis Flowers, Winona Mississippi Flowers, Mississippi Here


"Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2019"

The Prison Policy Initiative has today posted the latest, greatest version of its remarkable incarceration "pie" graphic and associated report on the particulars of who and how people are incarcerated in the United States.  The extraordinary pies produced by PPI impart more information in one image than just about any single resource I can think of.  Here is part of the report's introductory text and the concluding discussion on my favorite law-nerd version of pie day: Can it really be true tha...
Tags: Law, United States, Douglas A Berman


Important new empirical work on expungement realities in Michigan

Via this great new post at the Collateral Consequences Resource Center, I see that Sonja Starr and J.J. Prescott have this great new article titled "Expungement of Criminal Convictions: An Empirical Study."  Here is the article's abstract: Laws permitting the expungement of criminal convictions are a key component of modern criminal justice reform efforts and have been the subject of a recent upsurge of legislative activity.  This debate has been almost entirely devoid of evidence about the law...
Tags: Law, Michigan, Ccrc, Douglas A Berman, J J Prescott, Sonja Starr


"Misdemeanor Appeals"

The title of this post is the title of this notable new empirical article authored by Nancy King and Michael Heise. Here is its abstract: Misdemeanor cases affect far more people than felony cases, outnumbering felony cases by more than three to one.  Yet very little empirical information exists on many aspects of misdemeanor prosecutions.  This Article provides the first quantitative look at appellate review in misdemeanor cases, nationwide.  It uses data drawn from a random sample of direct c...
Tags: Law, Douglas A Berman, Nancy King, Michael Heise, Court Statistics Project


Federal judge pens extraordinary and compelling order requesting US Attorney to vacate old stacked 924(c) conviction in extraordinary and compelling case

I learned last night of a remarkable new four-page order entered in US v. Marks, No. 03-CR-6033 (WDNY March 14, 2019) (available for download below).  Chad Marks' case has been followed for years by clemency advocates like Amy Povah, and this CAN-DO profile page has lots of background materials about his case, his requests for clemency, and all the positive work he has done since being sentenced many years ago to 40 mandatory prison years due to stacking § 924(c) firearm charges.  As informed re...
Tags: Law, Congress, Court, US, United States, Gleeson, DKT, Marks, Holloway, Larimer, Eastern District of New York, John Gleeson, Douglas A Berman, David Larimer, Bureau of Prison, Amy Povah


Notable new materials on economic sanctions from The Hamilton Project

The Hamilton Project has assembled some notable new materials under the heading "The Economics of Bail, Fines, and Fees in the U.S. Criminal Justice System."  An event last week on this topic with multiple notable discussants is recorded here, and this one-pager reports on three papers with this introduction to the set: Monetary sanctions have played a role in the U.S. criminal justice system since its founding, but the way these sanctions — bail, fines, fees, and forfeitures — are used has cha...
Tags: Law, Criminal Justice System, Indiana Supreme Court, Douglas A Berman, Hamilton Project, Beth Colgan, Timbs, Will Dobbie, Crystal Yang A Proposal, Michael Makowsky, Patrick Liu Ryan Nunn, Jay Shambaugh


"Don't Overlook First Step Act Pilot Programs"

The title of this post is the title of this notable new Law360 commentary authored by By Addy Schmitt and Ian Herbert.  I recommend the piece in full, and here are excerpts (with footnotes omitted): Much attention has been paid to the provisions in the law designed to address systemic issues for defendants in drug cases.... The First Step Act also includes numerous changes to address quality-of-life issues for current inmates and to help individuals transition back to society following their in...
Tags: Law, Congress, Bureau of Prisons, Douglas A Berman, Addy Schmitt, Ian Herbert


SCOTUS takes up Miller retroactivity, unanimous juries, the insanity defense and criminal preemption in latest order list!

The Supreme Court is back in action this morning and today's order lists includes a list of four cases in which certioriari is granted.  Four criminal grants would enough to warm a chilly morning for me, but all four cases involve fairly "big ticket" concerns.  With the help of SCOTUSblog, here is the list of granted cases:  Mathena v. Malvo, 18-217 Issue : Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit erred in concluding — in direct conflict with Virginia’s highest court and other cou...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Virginia, Alabama, Kansas, Graham, Louisiana, Montgomery, Miller, Garcia, U S Court of Appeals, Ramos, Douglas A Berman, IRCA, Malvo, Kahler


Encouraging new reports about encouraging new compassionate release realities thanks to FIRST STEP Act

In this post last month, which was titled "Compassionate release after FIRST STEP: Should many thousands of ill and elderly federal inmates now be seeking reduced imprisonment in court?," I speculated about the possible impact of a key change of the FIRST STEP Act allowing federal courts to directly reduce sentenced under compassionate release statutory provisions.  Excitingly, in recent days I have seen two article reporting on encouraging action in this arena: From the Houston Chronicle, "‘Pil...
Tags: Facebook, Law, Npr, Houston, Price, Doj, Mary Price, Bureau of Prisons, Douglas A Berman, FAMM, US Bureau of Prisons, NPR Instead


Splint Seventh Circuit panel tangles with Second Amendment's second-class status and felon exclusion from right to bear arms

As noted in this post from last year, Justice Thomas has lamented in a cert denial that the Second Amendment has become "constitutional orphan" seemingly relegated in some settings to second-class status.  I have long thought this second-class status is demonstrated by the willingness of lower courts to uphold lifetime, blanket prohibitions on persons with certain criminal histories from being about to possess a gun.  The Seventh Circuit had another ruling in this arena last week in Kanter v. Ba...
Tags: Law, Chicago, United States, Wisconsin, Thomas, McDonald, Heller, Kanter, Seventh Circuit, Douglas A Berman, Amy Coney Barrett, Splint Seventh Circuit, Rickey I Kanter


Split Seventh Circuit panel tangles with Second Amendment's second-class status and felon exclusion from right to bear arms

As noted in this post from last year, Justice Thomas has lamented in a cert denial that the Second Amendment has become "constitutional orphan" seemingly relegated in some settings to second-class status.  I have long thought this second-class status is demonstrated by the willingness of lower courts to uphold lifetime, blanket prohibitions on persons with certain criminal histories from being about to possess a gun.  The Seventh Circuit had another ruling in this arena last week in Kanter v. Ba...
Tags: Law, Chicago, United States, Wisconsin, Thomas, McDonald, Heller, Kanter, Seventh Circuit, Douglas A Berman, Amy Coney Barrett, Rickey I Kanter, Split Seventh Circuit


"Criminal justice reform must do more than shrink prison populations"

The title of this post is the headline of this recent Hill commentary authored by David Harding, Jeffrey Morenoff and Jessica Wyse. I recommend the full piece, and here are excerpts: Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced the Next Step Act on March 7, an expansion of the criminal justice reform started with December’s First Step Act.  We applaud the Next Step Act for essential reforms, including reducing mandatory minimums for nonviolent drug offenses. Yet, reversing the harms that have been cre...
Tags: Law, Time, Detroit, Randall, Cory Booker, Douglas A Berman, David Harding Jeffrey Morenoff, Jessica Wyse


Rounding up some commentary on Gov Newsom's formal halting of executions in California

Given that there were no executions in California during the second term of Gov Arnold Schwarzenegger or during the two terms of Gov Jerry Brown, I was not expecting to see California's execution chamber suddenly getting a lot of use once Gavin Newsom took over.  But, as reported here, just two months into office, Gov Newsom formalize matters by ordering an "executive moratorium ... in the forms of a reprieve for all people sentenced to death in California."  Here is a smattering of commentary a...
Tags: Law, California, US, America, San Francisco, Atlantic, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jerry Brown, Los Angeles Times, Gavin Newsom, Newsom, Douglas A Berman, Mercury News Newsom, San Diego Union Tribune How Newsom, Forum Gov Newsom


Finding lessons in the Manafort sentencing and California's capital moratorium

Brandon Garrett has this great new little piece at The New Republic under the headline "Beyond Hard Time: What the disparate reactions to Manafort's sentence and California's death penalty ban reveal about our broken system."  I recommend the piece in full, and here is a taste: Is it hypocritical to call for less severe sentences for “regular” criminals while decrying leniency for white-collar defendants?  Those debates are now roiling the pundit world, but as a longtime student of disparities ...
Tags: Law, California, New Republic, Internal Revenue Service, Newsom, Douglas A Berman, Manafort, Paul Manafort, Brandon Garrett


Finding lessons the Manafort sentencing and California's capital moratorium

Brandon Garrett has this great new little piece at The New Republic under the headline "Beyond Hard Time: What the disparate reactions to Manafort's sentence and California's death penalty ban reveal about our broken system."  I recommend the piece in full, and here is a taste: Is it hypocritical to call for less severe sentences for “regular” criminals while decrying leniency for white-collar defendants?  Those debates are now roiling the pundit world, but as a longtime student of disparities ...
Tags: Law, California, New Republic, Internal Revenue Service, Newsom, Douglas A Berman, Manafort, Paul Manafort, Brandon Garrett