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Articles by Dale Chappell

Seventh Circuit: District Court Erred in Denying Compassionate Release Motion by Limiting ‘Extraordinary and Compelling’ Analysis to USSG § 1B1.13

by Dale Chappell

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois must consider relevant changes in the law that may impact a prisoner’s sentence, even if those changes are not retroactive, when considering a motion for compassionate ...

Tenth Circuit Announces Adoption of ‘Offense of Conviction Approach’ for Determining Sentence Reduction Under First Step Act § 404(b)

by Dale Chappell

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held that the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado erred in relying on the defendant’s underlying conduct, rather than his offense of conviction, to deny his motion for sentence reduction under the First Step Act § ...

SCOTUS Holds Ramos’ Unanimous Jury Requirement Is New Procedural Rule and Announces No New Procedural Rule Applies Retroactively on Federal Collateral Review

by Dale Chappell

The Supreme Court of the United States held that its landmark decision issued on April 20, 2020, in Ramos v. Louisiana, 140 S. Ct. 1390 (2020), which requires that all jury verdicts must be unanimous to convict a criminal defendant of a serious offense, is a ...

Second Circuit: Autopsy Report Is ‘Testimonial’ for Confrontation Clause Purposes, Habeas Relief Granted

by Dale Chappell

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the grant of habeas corpus relief to a New York state prisoner, finding that his Sixth Amendment right of confrontation was violated when evidence against him in an autopsy report was introduced at trial through an expert ...

Ninth Circuit Announces All 3 Subsections Must Be Satisfied to Deny Safety-Valve Relief Under 18 U.S.C. § 3553(f)(1)

by Dale Chappell

In a case of first impression under the First Step Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the word “and” in the three exclusion provisions of the so-called “safety valve” relief provided for in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(f) that permits district courts ...

Qualified Immunity Driven by Irrational Fear of Cops Being Held Personally Liable

by Dale Chappell

The fear that a police officer would be held personally responsible, should he be sued because of his actions in the line of duty, is nothing short of irrational and unfounded, a May 2021 article in reason.com concluded. This fear is what has driven the U.S. Supreme ...

Tenth Circuit Joins Other Circuits, Holding Federal Offense of Conviction, Not Underlying Conduct, Determines First Step Act Eligibility

by Dale Chappell

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held that a district court is authorized to correct an erroneous career offender enhancement when a defendant qualifies for relief under the First Step Act, joining other circuits which have held the same.

The appeal came after Wallace ...

Fourth Circuit: District Court Must Recalculate Guidelines Sentencing Range and Conduct Analysis of § 3553(a) Factors Even if Same Sentence Would Be Imposed Under First Step Act

by Dale Chappell

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina must recalculate the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines (“USSG”) sentencing range in a case where the district court claimed that it would still impose the same sentence, ...

"Sixth Circuit Grants Habeas Relief Because Trial Judge Redacted Key Portion of Witness’ Testimony Presented to Jury in Violation of Confrontation Clause"

by Dale Chappell

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that a witness’ edited statement from a prior trial, saying that she feared going back to jail if she didn’t say what she thought the judge wanted her to say which tainted the first trial, violated the ...

Seventh Circuit Finds Lack of Evidence, Grants Habeas Relief, and Orders ‘Immediate Release’

by Dale Chappell

In a rare case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit granted habeas corpus relief to a state prisoner after finding that the State’s evidence was lacking and the state court was “not just wrong, but unreasonable, in holding otherwise.”

In 2001, two individuals rushed ...

 

 

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