Thursday, October 14, 2021

US v. Goodall, No. 18-10004 (10-13-21)(Lee w/Graber & Vratil). It is never good when the opinion early on reads that the defendant is trying to “wiggle out” of his plea. Actually, the defendant argues his plea was illegal because US v Davis, 139 S. Ct 2319 (2019) held the residual clause of 924(c) was unconstitutional for vagueness. Here, the defendant, charged with Hobbs Act robberies, faced 70 years but under a plea faced a recommended 20 years and got a sentence of 14 years. Once Johnson and then Davis came out, he argues his sentence is illegal. Not so, says the 9th, because an illegal sentence differs from an illegal conviction as legal terms. An illegal sentence is one the parties did not anticipate and violates the law—such as above the stat max. An illegal conviction is one the parties took into account when agreeing to plead. That is, the defendant took the risk of the law changes to secure present benefits. The 7th and also the 5th and 2nd agree with this analysis. Lastly, finding for the defendant would undue many pleas and make plea benefits illusory for the govt.

The decision is here:


Post a Comment

<< Home