Wednesday, August 17, 2022

1.  United States v. Wright, No. 20-50361 (Bennett (D. Md.) with Berzon and Bea) –- The panel affirmed the denial of a motion for a sentence reduction under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A), holding that error in treating the Guidelines’s policy statement on compassionate release as binding can be harmless when the district court makes an alternative ruling based on the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors that is itself a proper exercise of sentencing discretion.  The panel also held that the defendant had abandoned his alternative request for home confinement by failing to separately argue it.

Kudos to Jessica Agatstein and Katie Hurrelbrink, Federal Defenders of San Diego, for a hard-fought appeal. 

The decision is here:


2.  Sansing v. Shinn, No. 13-99001 (Watford with Callahan; Berzon dissenting) –- [This is an Arizona CHU case.]  The panel denied a petition for rehearing and issued a revised opinion and revised dissent that does not change the previous outcome of the appeal (no relief, but Berzon dissented and would order resentencing) but accounts for the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Brown v. Davenport, 142 S. Ct. 1510 (2022), which discusses how to apply harmless-error review (here, to a claim under Ring v. Arizona, 536 U.S. 584 (2002)) in habeas proceedings.  The panel did not allow further petitions for rehearing based on the revised opinion and dissent.

The revised opinion is here:


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