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Author Archives: admin

Who Can Benefit From New Crack Cocaine Guidelines?

Eleventh Circuit clarifies which defendants can benefit from new crack guidelines. The Eleventh Circuit issued a little, but still important, sentencing opinion in US v. Liberse, No. 12-10243 (11th Cir. July 30, 2012) (available here) to clarify just which defendants can now benefit from the new reduced crack guidelines. Here is how the opinion starts: … Continue reading »

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New Crack Cocaine Law Federal Guidelines Making Progress

The Eleventh Circuit issued a little, but still important, sentencing opinion in US v. Liberse, No. 12-10243 (11th Cir. July 30, 2012) to clarify just which defendants can now benefit from the new reduced crack guidelines. Here is how the opinion starts: This is the third decision we have issued in the past month concerning … Continue reading »

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May’s Harshest Prison Sentence of the Month

(CBS) – Last Friday, Jacksonville mother Marissa Alexander was sentenced by a Florida judge to 20 years in prison for firing what she says was a “warning shot” into the wall after a physical altercation with her husband, Rico Gray. The case has set off yet another controversy involving the state’s “stand your ground” law, … Continue reading »

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Harsh Prison Sentence of the Month

By Jeff Coen and Bob Secter, Chicago Tribune reportersDecember 8, 2011 A contrite former Gov. Rod Blagojevich was sentenced Wednesday to 14 years in federal prison, capping one of the state’s worst political scandals and humbling a controversial and defiant figure who rode into office as a champion of reform. The sentence handed Blagojevich was … Continue reading »

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Mandatory Minimums – A Prosecutor’s Secret Weapon?

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — After decades of new laws to toughen sentencing for criminals, prosecutors have gained greater leverage to extract guilty pleas from defendants and reduce the number of cases that go to trial, often by using the threat of more serious charges with mandatory sentences or other harsher penalties. Graphic Some experts say the … Continue reading »

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Federal Ruling on Florida Sentencing Laws

Are Florida’s drug laws unconstitutional? On July 27, in Shelton v. Department of Corrections, federal judge Mary Scriven held Florida’s state drug law unconstitutional because it lacked a requirement that the state prove a defendant knew he or she was engaged in illegal activity to obtain a conviction. In a nutshell, the ruling says that … Continue reading »

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If We Said it Once, We Said it A Million Times – There’s Corruption in Everything

Former Pennsylvania juvenile court judge, Mark Ciavarella, has been sentenced to 28 years in prison. Ciavarella was found guilty of trading convictions for cash, and unjustly sentencing youth to to detention centers whose owners paid him millions in bribe money. A federal judge tossed a plea deal that would have limited the sentence to 87 … Continue reading »

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Harsh Federal Prison Sentence of the Week

United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today the sentencing of Dr. Allison Hargrave, 40, of Lafayette, La., a former counselor at Ascension Episcopal School in Lafayette. U.S. District Judge Richard T. Haik sentenced Hargrave to 30years in prison followed by 20 years supervised release for attempting to entice a minor to engage in criminal … Continue reading »

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Kudos to Delaware

WILMINGTON — The state of Delaware is undertaking a study of its criminal justice system to find ways to slow prison growth and prevent ex-convicts from committing new crimes. The U.S. Department of Justice has selected Delaware as a “Justice Reinvestment” site to evaluate what’s right and wrong about the current system. Gov. Jack Markell … Continue reading »

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Drug Charges Yield a Twenty-Two Year Federal Prison Sentence for Lincoln, Nebraska Man

The harshest sentence of the week goes out to the state of Nebraska for handing down 22 years on drug charges. A Lincoln man with a criminal history in Grand Island has been sentenced to 22 years in federal prison for drug possession. Carlos Ponce, 25, was sentenced on Thursday in U.S. District Court to … Continue reading »

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