• Buyer’s Remorse??

    Calling the sentence “one of the most troubling that I ever faced in my five years on the federal bench,” Paul G. Cassell, now a professor at the University of Utah’s law school, said the mandatory minimum sentence he was required to impose on Weldon Angelos was one of the chief reasons he chose to […]

  • A GOVERNMENT AGENCY THAT DOESN’T RUN ON FORMS–WHAT GIVES??

    Kaylon Pruitt appealed his 46 month sentence for being a felon in possession of a firearm and argued the district court committed procedural error by failing to explain the reasons for the sentence, as required by 18 U.S.C. § 3553(c). The Second Circuit affirmed and this is an otherwise forgettable decision but for the digs […]

  • Who Makes The Next Move At Malheur National Wildlife Refuge?

    Remember when the Native Americans occupied Alcatraz for several years in the late 1960s? How about the Ruby Ridge debacle or even the Waco imbroglio? There are a number of chapters in our country’s recent history when groups have become fed up with Uncle Sam’s bullying behavior and penchant for over-regulation and made a statement […]

  • Understanding Federal Drug Laws and Sentencing Guidelines

    Drug offenses may be prosecuted in state or federal court, depending on the nature of the alleged offense. Defendants accused of drug crimes are often confused about why they are facing charges in federal court, rather than state court. Your best source of information about your case is your criminal defense attorney serving Columbus. Since […]

  • EVEN THE CLERGY GETS A BOP NUMBER!

    Alright, our world is going to hell in a handbasket. A beloved Catholic priest in Troy, Michigan was scorned when allegations came forth that he embezzled money from church coffers over the span of 8 years. Rev. Edward A. Belczak, 70, diverted $572,775 collected by the church, most of which he kept in a secret […]

  • It Helps To Have Friends In High Places!

    Many of us subscribe to the old adage “it ain’t what you know, it’s who you know.” Additionally, if you’re a federal prisoner serving an eternity in the BOP, it helps to have friends in high places. The following illustrates these truisms. Federal trial judges have little leeway in sentencing when prosecutors trigger mandatory-minimum statues […]

  • These Sentences Ain’t Peanuts!

    Stewart Parnell, 61, who once oversaw Peanut Corporation of America, and his brother, Michael, 56, who was a food broker on behalf of the company, were convicted on federal conspiracy charges in September 2014 for knowingly shipping salmonella-tainted peanuts to customers. During the seven-week trial last year, prosecutors showed the Parnell brothers covered up the […]

  • Bad Facts Make For Long Sentences!

    A Detroit cancer doctor who made nearly $20 million off hundreds of patients suffering from unneeded chemotherapy and other stunningly bad treatments was sentenced to serve 540 months in federal prison (his guidelines were 360-life). All you people crowing that he certainly won’t have to serve all of that sentence are correct—with good time he’ll […]

  • Residual Clauses Down In Flames!

    Towards the end of the 2014 term, the Supreme Court decided Johnson v. United States , No. 13-7120 (S. Ct. June 26, 2015) in which it held that the residual clause of the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) violated “the Constitution’s prohibition of vague criminal laws.” Last week, the Sixth Circuit, in United States v. […]

  • JUDGE TAKES A MULLIGAN!

    Jerry Baxter, the judge presiding over the sentencing of 10 former Atlanta public school educators convicted of participating in a widespread conspiracy to cheat on state tests, ordered three of the defendants to serve seven years in state prison. However, upon reflection, Baxter had buyer’s remorse over the severity of the sentences he imposed and […]