Thursday, February 10, 2005

California federal prisoners will get new sentences!

In United States v. Ameline (issued on February 9, 2005) the highest federal court of appeal in the West held in that unless a federal prisoner's case is truly exceptional, he or she will be entitled to a jury trial on all of the aggravating factors used to make his or sentence worse.

This means that all federal prisoners in the West, and specifically drug offenders for Federal drug crimes in California, who were sentenced after June 26, 2000, are probably entitled to a re-sentencing. Prosecutors cannot claim that you possessed anymore drugs (and therefore cannot punish the federal inmate), than they can prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt. The old way of punishing a federal drug offender or defendant does not apply anymore. They cannot punish on hearsay about the amount of drugs.

But you must act quickly, the rules of procedure say that you must ask for a resentencing no more than one year after your final direct appeal is denied. (Or you must raise the issue in your direct appeal).

Chip Venie, Esq
chipesq@hotmail.com
(619) 235-8300
Offices in Washington D.C.
San Diego, California
and Davisburg, Michigan.

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