Later this month, the Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in United States v Haymond, a case that tests the legality of increased mandatory minimums and maximums for sex offenders who are accused of committing another sex offense while on release. Haymond had the misfortune to get malware on his smartphone, which gave him all sorts of nasty little goodies, including child pornography. As the evidence was pretty conclusive that he did not deliberately download these files, the Government tried to convict him through the back door of revoking his supervised release.Continue reading “The Import of Haymond”
First off, I apologize for the delay. I had another brain fart and send this post to the wrong email, so that is the reason for the delay from yesterday. As previously mentioned, one court in Illinois has denied the opportunity to correct the good time fix by stating that it is not in effect until at least July. We disagree with that. So we have prepared a sample motion for people to file with the district court in the district in which you are PRESENTLY LOCATED, not the district in which you were sentenced.Continue reading “How to Petition to Get Your Extra Good Time”
One of the main factors of supervised release-that it was not supposed to be punishment at all, but was meant to help the individual reintegrate into society-has largely been forgotten. Yet, it is something that courts should be reminded of, and the petition should explain how any challenged condition impedes this goal. Pointing out the real world consequences of a condition are far more likely to sway any judge than a legal argument, and many judges have modified conditions on this basis alone.Continue reading “How to Petition to Modify Your Conditions of Supervised Release-Part 3”
Most of us have been on the receiving end of misbehavior by prison officials. Trying to bring staff’s bad behavior to the attention of the higher ups is, at best, an exercise in frustration, and, often, futility. Poorly designed “remedy” procedures are staffed by apathetic and-to be fair-usually overworked aides who just want to quickly dispose of numerous complaints and move on to one of their other myriad duties. The actual signee, like the Warden, usually does not even read what they sign.Continue reading “Lessons from the “Remedy Process””
In challenging conditions already imposed, you must essentially treat this as a reverse sentencing, showing the condition does not comply with the release statute. Courts have broad discretion to impose conditions that are related to one of the following:
(1) the characteristics and nature of the offense;
(2) preventing more crime;
(3) protecting the public; and
(4) providing you needed services or treatment.
With the overwhelming focus on prison, few defendants think about supervised release(and almost no lawyers discuss it with them) until they are about to end their term of imprisonment. Once the conditions they are expected to follow are laid in their hands, and the realization of what they are about to face hits (especially for sex offenders), only then do offender truly think about what they signed up for. If this is you, and you’re despairing about how difficult release may be, all is not lost.Continue reading “How to Petition to Modify Your Supervised Release Conditions”
We have a lot to talk about in this week’s newsletter. First off, as we mentioned last week, there was a case in Illinois in which an inmate at a halfway house had filed a 2241 motion trying to get his release from halfway house due to the good time fix. Unfortunately, the court denied him relief. In it, they stated that section 102(b)(2) of the First Step Act states that this subsection will not go into effect until after the Attorney General releases the risk assessment system. Continue reading “PREA, First Step and Other News”
We’ve had several people ask for a breakdown of the First Step Act and so I figured this week I would highlight the portions that would apply to most of us (sex offenders). Thanks to our friend Brandon Sample at www.sentencing.net, he has assisted us with some of these tasks. Below is a simple question and answer that hopefully will assist in answering some of those questions.
As a New Year dawns, it struck me as a fun mental exercise to examine an old precept and determine if it is valid (long standing tradition may mean that something is so sound it cannot be improved-hence its longstanding-or merely that it is so sold it is unquestioned, and stands merely on that fact.) One of our oldest tenets, taken as unassailable, is that ignorance of the law is no excuse. But is this really a solid premise? Continue reading “A New Year’s Take on an Old Law”
Yesterday (Monday), the Senate held a procedural vote on the First Step Act to end debate and bring the bill up for a floor vote. The vote passed the procedural vote by an overwhelming 82-14. A vote is set for later today. Although Senators Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and John Kennedy (R-Louisiana) are going to try and add more amendments, many Senators, including several Republicans, have said that enough is enough. The concerns of violent criminals getting out early already has several safeguards in place.
The bill must pass the Senate with at least 60 votes. Once it does that, a joint committee between the House and Senate will discuss any compromises and the bill will be sent back to the House for a new vote. The House will return to session Wednesday evening and we expect them to pass it as early as Thursday. Once that occurs, the President has until noon eastern time on January 3, 2019 to sign it and the bill would go into effect.
We are keeping an eye on this and as soon as it passes both chambers and President Trump signs it, we will send out a breaking news email to share with you.
Until then, enjoy this week’s article.