Articles Posted in U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

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Petitioner filed an application under 28 U.S.C. 2255(h) and 2244(b)(3)(A) seeking an order authorizing the district court to consider a second or successive motion to vacate, set aside, or correct his federal sentence. The Eleventh Circuit denied the application, holding that petitioner raised the same arguments under Johnson v. United States in his application that the court previously denied on the merits. View "In Re: Orestes Hernandez" on Justia Law

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When a defendant has attempted to persuade a minor to engage in sexual activity that could potentially violate multiple criminal statutes, the jury is not required to unanimously agree as to which statute the defendant's completed conduct would have violated so long as the jury unanimously agrees that the sexual activity being encouraged would violate one of these statutes. The Eleventh Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction in this case, holding that the district court did not abuse its discretion by rejecting defendant's proposed jury instruction that the jury must unanimously agree as to which sex acts defendant would have attempted to persuade the minor girl to perform, had he not been interrupted by arresting officers and had there been a real girl. In this case, the jurors were necessarily unanimous that defendant could have been charged with second-degree sexual abuse. View "United States v. Jockisch" on Justia Law

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The low-end exception to a presumption of prejudice no longer applies in the post-Booker, advisory guidelines era where a sentence outside the guidelines range is not the extraordinary event that it once was. In this case, the district court's failure to address defendant personally about whether he wished to make a statement to the court was error; defendant was entitled to a presumption of prejudice; the district court could have varied downward from the sentence it imposed if convinced by defendant during allocation to do so; and thus the court vacated and remanded for resentencing so that defendant may have an opportunity to allocute. View "United States v. Doyle" on Justia Law

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Georgia law by its terms does not provide for negligence actions directly against dogs. In this case, plaintiff filed suit against a police canine, Draco, and others after Draco inflicted serious damage to plaintiff when Draco refused to release his bite. The Eleventh Circuit held that the officers were entitled to qualified immunity because no binding precedent clearly established that their actions in allowing Draco to apprehend plaintiff violated defendant's Fourth Amendment rights; the County and Chief Ayers in his official capacity have sovereign immunity; and Defendants Fransen, Towler, Ross, and Ayers were entitled to official immunity for the claims against them in their individual capacities View "Jones v. Officer S. Fransen" on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit denied J.W. Ledford, Jr.'s motion for an emergency stay of execution, holding that Ledford's 42 U.S.C. 1983 complaint challenging Georgia's method of execution was time-barred. The court further held that, even if the claims were not time-barred, Ledford's allegations and supporting documents did not establish a substantial risk of serious harm, much less a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of his claims; Ledford has not alleged sufficient facts to render it plausible that a firing squad was a feasible and readily implemented method of execution in Georgia that would significantly reduce a substantial risk of severe pain; and, under all the particular facts and circumstances of this case, Ledford failed to show that he has met the equitable requirements for a stay of execution. View "Ledford, Jr. v. Commissioner, GA Department of Corrections" on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's determination that granting Anthony Boyd leave to amend his complaint would be futile, and affirmed the dismissal of his suit alleging an Eighth Amendment violation regarding Alabama's new lethal injection protocol. Instead of identifying an alternative method of lethal injection that would be feasible, readily implemented, and substantially less risky than the midazolam protocol or opting for death by electrocution, Boyd alleged that Alabama should execute him by hanging or firing squad. The Eleventh Circuit held that Boyd has not come close to pleading sufficient facts to render it plausible that hanging and firing squad are feasible, readily implemented methods of execution for Alabama that would significantly reduce a substantial risk of severe pain. Alabama is under no constitutional obligation to experiment with execution by hanging or firing squad. Finally, Body's remaining claims were filed well beyond the two-year statute of limitations governing section 1983 claims in Alabama. View "Boyd v. Warden, Holman Correctional Facility" on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the grant of summary judgment to defendants in a suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983, alleging inadequate medical care while plaintiff was in jail. Plaintiff was diagnosed with meningitis while he was a pretrial detainee in the jail and subsequently suffered multiple strokes resulting in permanent injuries. In this case, all of the health care providers acted within the course and scope of their discretionary authority in providing care to plaintiff. Nurse Wilt, Nurse Preston-Mayle, Nurse Scott, Nurse Roberts, Nurse Densmore, and Doctor Ogunsanwo did not violate plaintiff's constitutional rights by being deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs and were entitled to qualified immunity. Because there was no constitutional deprivation, there was no basis for supervisor liability. View "Nam Dang v. Sheriff, Seminole County, Florida" on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit reversed the dismissal of a federal habeas petition and remanded for further proceedings, holding that petitioner's motion under Rule 3.800(c), Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure, tolled the limitations period for a federal habeas petition. The Eleventh Circuit explained that a Rule 3.800(c) motion is an application for collateral review that tolls the time a petitioner could petition for federal habeas relief because it is an application for judicial reexamination of a judgment or claim in a proceeding outside of the direct review process. View "Rogers v. Secretary, Department of Corrections" on Justia Law

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The court affirmed the denial of a motion for special appearance of counsel to seek the dismissal of an indictment on the ground that defendant was a fugitive from justice, because the motion was not an immediately appealable collateral order. Defendant was indicted on one count of international parental kidnapping and subsequently moved to have his attorneys specially appear to seek dismissal of the indictment. The district court denied the motion based on the fugitive disentitlement doctrine. The court dismissed defendant's interlocutory appeal for lack of jurisdiction because denial of defendant's motion for counsel to appear specially implicates neither "a right not to be tried," nor a right like that against excessive bail. The court distinguished this case from that of the Seventh Circuit's in United States v. Bokhari. The court also denied defendant's petition for writ of mandamus because he had an adequate means to obtain relief -- appearance in the district court -- and could not establish that his right to mandamus was clear and indisputable. View "United States v. Shalhoub" on Justia Law

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Defendant appealed her restitution order after pleading guilty to conspiracy to accept gratuities with the intent to be influenced or rewarded in connection with a bank transaction. The district court ordered her to pay $251,860.31 to her former employer, Wells Fargo, pursuant to the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act, 18 U.S.C. 3663A, finding that her conviction qualified as an "offense against property." The court affirmed the judgment, concluding that defendant facilitated bank transactions that proximately caused Wells Fargo's losses, and she intended to derive an unlawful benefit from the property that was the subject of these transactions. Therefore, the court concluded that defendant committed an "offense against property" as that phrase was understood in its ordinary and contemporary sense. View "United States v. Collins" on Justia Law