Tag Archives: Sentencing

Justice reform 2021: Assembly poised to erase mandatory minimums (access required)


When the 2021 Virginia General Assembly opens on Jan. 13, criminal justice reform, a major issue in last year’s session, will be back front and center. A group of progressive Virginia prosecutors has united behind a five-point agenda for the ...

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Criminal history includes only active sentences (access required)

Rejecting the reasoning in unpublished 4th Circuit decisions on the question, the court held that under Sentencing Guidelines § 4A1.2, a defendant’s criminal history category calculation did not include petty offenses for which active imprisonment was less than 30 days, ...

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CAV: Attempt is “punished as larceny,” qualifying for enhancement (access required)

Attempted petit larceny qualifies as a felony recidivist “third or subsequent offense” under Code § 18.2-104, meriting an enhancement sentence. Background At trial, the Commonwealth presented evidence that Appellant Fred Coleman was attempting to steal a bicycle when the victim ...

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4th Cir.: Sentence-reduction motion was in feds’ discretion (access required)

By the unambiguous terms of a plea agreement, the government had discretion to determine whether the defendant had complied with his obligation under the agreement to give full and complete testimony when asked. Given this discretion, it was not required ...

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4th Cir.: No late substitute for unconstitutional predicate (access required)

After U.S. Supreme Court precedent invalidated one of the defendant’s three predicate convictions mandating a sentence enhancement under the Armed Career Criminal Act, his sentence could not be sustained by a “substitute” conviction that appeared on his pre-sentence report but ...

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CAV: News article on prior trial not testimonial; admissible (access required)

At a defendant’s probation revocation hearing, the circuit court properly admitted information about the defendant’s most recent convictions as reported in a news article read by the prosecutor. The article was written to inform the public, not in anticipation of ...

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4th Cir.: Fraud conspirator must forfeit only her own proceeds (access required)

Under recent U.S. Supreme Court precedent, a defendant convicted in a mortgage fraud conspiracy could not be ordered to forfeit the total amount of losses from the conspiracy – over $1.5 million – when she personally had received only $231,000 ...

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