Tuesday, September 19, 2006

US v. Napier, No. 05-30348 (9-19-06). The 9th considers again what happens when the court doesn't speak its mind at sentencing, but waits until the written judgment to add nonstandard supervised release conditions. Unsurprisingly, the 9th frowns on this practice. here, the defendant embezzled funds. He got nine months imprisonment, three years of supervised release, and conditions of supervised release that may be modified from time to time. The judgment came out, and -- lo and behold -- nonstandard conditions appeared, including drug testing and mental health counseling. On appeal, the 9th (Canby) vacated and remanded for resentencing. It recognized that the judgment did not clarify the oral pronounced sentence; however, there was some ambiguity because the court did make reference to written conditions that would be forthcoming. Given the so-called muddiness, the 9th wants a "do over". In assessing the appropriateness of the conditions, the 9th held that the drug testing was an abuse of discretion because there was no record or indication of drug abuse. Drug testing is not an across-the-board condition., The 9th did uphold mental health counseling given some indications of violence against women in the past. The 9th made clear that an unambiguous oral sentence trumps an inconsistent written one.


Post a Comment

<< Home