Category: Legal News and Resources

DC Cir. Throws Out 30 Year Mandatory Sentences for Federal 924(c) Gun Convictions on 8th Amend. Cruel and Unusual Punishment Grounds

By Brad Polk

The DC Circuit federal appellate court threw out 30 year mandatory minimum sentences under 18 U.S.C. Sec. 924(c) for several former Blackwater guards who were convicted of manslaughter after unarmed Iraqi civilians were killed in Baghdad in 2007. Despite Congress mandating a minimum sentence for the use of a firearm or possessing one in furtherance…

SUPREME COURT HEARING JOHNSON ISSUE IN SENTENCING GUIDELINES CASE

By Raymond Tarlton

The Supreme Court Granted Cert in Beckles v. United States (No. 15-8544), to decide the following issues: (1) Whether Johnson v. United States applies retroactively to collateral cases challenging federal sentences enhanced under the residual clause in United States Sentencing Guidelines (U.S.S.G.) § 4B1.2(a)(2) (defining “crime of violence”); (2) whether Johnson’s constitutional holding applies to the…

BOP Relaxes RDAP Rules

By Raymond Tarlton

The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is relaxing certain rules related to the 500 hour Residential Drug Aftercare Program (RDAP).Under the new rules, inmates will be eligible to participate in the program and to receive one year off their custody term—even if they have a violence-related conviction—unless they have been convicted within the past 10…

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