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Showing posts from June, 2011

Court Adopts Factors to Determine Exceptions to Waiver of Issues Not Raised in Opening Brief, Remands for More Narrowly Tailored Internet Restrictions

In United States v. Albertson, No. 09-1049, the Third Circuit considered yet again whether a defendant’s supervised release term and special conditions were reasonable under 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) as incorporated by 18 U.S.C. § 3583(d)(1). Albertson pled to one count of receiving child pornography and received a sentence of 60 months in prison (the mandatory minimum term of imprisonment), along with a 20 year supervised release tail with 8 special conditions. Albertson challenged the length of his supervised release term as well as special conditions that: (1) banned him from associating with children under the age of 18 (other than his children) without his probation officer’s prior approval, (2) banned him from using a computer with internet access without prior written approval of the probation department, and (3) required him to submit to an initial inspection and subsequent inspections of his computer and to allow probation to install monitoring or filtering software onto his comp…

De Novo Sentencing Applies After Court Vacates Part of Interdependent Sentence, Remand for Full Consideration of Post-Sentencing Rehabilitation

In United States v. Diaz, No. 10-3337, the Third Circuit considered whether the district court correctly resentenced the defendant on remand after one count of an interdependent sentence was vacated. Diaz was convicted of one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin and two counts of possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c). The Third Circuit reversed and remanded for resentencing, holding that Mr. Diaz’s double jeopardy rights were violated because a second § 924(c) count must be based on a separate predicate drug offense. On remand, the defense argued that the district court should simply reduce the sentence by 120 months - the sentence originally associated with the vacated § 924(c) count. The district court treated its original sentence as interdependent, and held that resentencing de novo was appropriate so long as the Third Circuit did not direct otherwise. The district court considered the fact that the defendan…

Enhancement for Counterfeit Obligations Based on Face Value, Not Intended Loss

In United States v. Wright, No. 10-2970 (3d. Cir. June 1, 2011), the Third Circuit vacated a sentence of twenty months imprisonment and remanded for resentencing. The court recognized the facts of this case could never have been envisioned by the Sentencing Commission. Wright and a man he falsely identified as his brother attempted to sell $120,000 worth of fake U.S. currency for $60,000 to a small business owner. Wright and his "brother" told the business owner that their father was a politician and banker in Sierra Leone, who had recently been assassinated, and that he and his brother fled to the United States as refugees. They claimed to have brought with them millions of dollars in U.S. currency, that had been provided to Sierra Leone by the U.S. as aid. They claimed that the currency had been dyed black in order to prevent the use of the currency by rebels who might have intercepted it. In a meeting with the business owner, Wright and his "brother" demonstrate…