US v. Cardenas
No. 03-10009 (5-4-05). This raises the issue of appeal waivers in the context of safety valve, mandatory minimums, and Booker. The defendant entered into a plea that recognized he was facing a 10 year mandatory minimum sentence, that he could possibly get the safety valve, that sentencing was up to the court, and that he waived his right to appeal his sentence. Well, the safety valve "disclosure" went from bad to worse to untruthful, and the court ended up holding that he wasn't eligible for the benefit. His waiver precluded appellate review. Booker wasn't any help because this charge involved a mandatory minimum, not a guideline, and so the law's change didn't affect the plea.