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Law digest – 8/20/12

Criminal Procedure, Civil commitment: Where defendant had multiple convictions for making harassing phone calls of violent, sexual content, district court properly denied government’s request for defendant to be committed under the Adam Walsh Act following his release from prison, because the government failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that defendant was sexually dangerous to others. U.S. v. Francis, No. 12-1205. RecordFax No. 12-0716-60, 19 pages.

Criminal Procedure, Habeas relief: Where defendant, convicted of capital murder, sought habeas relief based on new evidence of innocence, including recantations of two key witnesses who testified against him at trial, district court’s judgment denying defendant’s habeas petition was vacated because court’s meager analysis of the evidence and procedural issues did not provide sufficient basis to determine whether denial of habeas relief was proper or an abuse of discretion. Teleguz v. Pearson, No. 11-9. RecordFax No. 12-0802-60, 13 pages.

Criminal Procedure, Motion to vacate plea: Defendant’s motion to vacate guilty plea based on attorney’s failure to inform him of deportation consequences of plea, which was filed more than one year after defendant’s judgment of conviction became final, was barred by statute of limitations, because right recognized in Padilla v. Kentucky, 130 S. Ct. 1473, 1486 (2010), which held that right to counsel requires defense lawyers to inform their clients whether plea agreement carries risk of deportation, was not new right that was made retroactively applicable to cases on collateral review. U.S. v. Mathur, No. 11-6747. RecordFax No. 12-0711-63, 15 pages.

Criminal Procedure, Sentence enhancement: Where plea agreement incorrectly stated that defendant was exposed to maximum sentence of ten years, despite the fact that defendant was actually exposed to a mandatory minimum sentence of fifteen years as an armed career criminal, district court properly imposed the enhanced sentence because the plea agreement specifically stated that the court was not bound by it. U.S. v. Davis, No. 11-6301 (decided July 23, 2012) (Judges DAVIS, Diaz & Kiser (sitting by designation)). RecordFax No. 12-0723-60, 21 pages.

Criminal Procedure, Special conditions for sex offenders: Where defendant was convicted on drug-related charges, district court improperly imposed special conditions meant for sex offenders based on defendant’s decade-old state sex-offense conviction because nothing in the record indicated that defendant posed such a danger to justify the conditions. U.S. v. Worley, No. 11-4348. RecordFax No. 12-0713-61, 11 pages.