Wednesday, June 08, 2016

1.  United States v. Loveland, No. 13-30162 (6-3-16)(Kleinfeld with Kozinski and Murguia).  A conspiracy needs an agreement.  In this reversal of defendant's conviction and vacation of life sentence, the 9th found there was ample evidence of possession with intent to distribute meth, but no evidence of an agreement between the suppliers, nor the ultimate purchasers.  It is not enough that the purchases are regular, or that everyone knows who is buying what; there has to be an agreement that everyone is in this together.  Here, there was not.  The only evidence was that co-defendants purchased amounts.

The decision is here:

2.  United States v. Ornelas, No. 15-10522 (6-3-16)(Ikuta with Kleinfeld and Watford). The 9th affirms a denial of a motion to reduce a sentence pursuant to a guideline reduction under 18 U.S.C. ยง 3582.  The defendant argued that the court should take into account a departure under criminal history, which would have lowered his sentence enough to be eligible for a sentence reduction.  The 9th rejects this approach, siding with Commission and other circuits that the analysis looks at the guideline range applicable at sentencing and then consider whether the reduced range makes him eligible for a further reduction.

The decision is here:



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