Thursday, June 23, 2016

Two rulings in favor of criminal defendants today, both involving issues that follow in the wake of Johnson v. United States, 135. S. Ct. 2551 (2015). [Ed. note: I (Keith Hilzendeger) represent the petitioner in the second case summarized here.]

1. United States v. Cisneros, No. 13-30066 (NR Smith with Goodwin and Ikuta) --- Following a GVR in light of Johnson, the Ninth Circuit vacated an ACCA-enhanced sentence for felon in possession and remanded with instructions to resentence the defendant without the enhancement, because his prior convictions for eluding a police officer and for first-degree burglary under Oregon law are no longer "crimes of violence."

Congratulations to Assistant Federal Public Defender Brian Butler of Medford, Oregon.

The decision is here:

2. Oroña v. United States, No. 16-70568 (June 2016 screening panel; Bea, Watford and Friedland) --- The Ninth Circuit granted a federal prisoner's motion for authorization to leave to file a second or successive § 2255 motion to challenge his ACCA-enhanced sentence based on Johnson. This result was preordained by Welch v. United States, 136 S. Ct. 1257 (2016), which held that Johnson applied retroactively to cases that are final on collateral review. The panel published to explain that equitable tolling of the § 2255 limitations period would be applied starting on the date on which the SOS motion was filed in order to protect diligent prisoners against the running of the limitations period while their applications are pending, because they have no way of controlling how long it will take the Ninth Circuit to adjudicate them.

The decision is here:


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