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

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In 2013, Cleaton, a Correctional Officer at the Federal Correctional Complex in Petersburg, Virginia, was indicted in Virginia state court on a felony charge for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. He pled no contest to the felony charge pursuant to a plea deal. The court deferred the imposition of the sentence “upon the condition that defendant cooperate fully with the requests for information made by the Probation Officer, who is directed to conduct a thorough investigation and to file a long-form presentence report with the Court.” Weeks later, the Bureau of Prisons proposed to remove Cleaton from his position pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 7371(b). The Merit System Protection Board upheld the removal, rejecting Cleaton’s claim that he had not been convicted of a felony. After Cleaton was removed, he obtained new counsel and entered into a revised plea agreement. The court clarified that, upon successful completion of the probation period, the charges against Cleaton will be dismissed. The Federal Circuit affirmed. An individual can be “convicted” for purposes of section 7371(b) “once guilt has been established whether by plea or by verdict and nothing remains to be done except pass sentence.” View "Cleaton v. Dept. of Justice" on Justia Law

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Crooker, who has a lengthy criminal history, pled guilty to charges of mailing a threatening communication and possession of a toxin without registration. He is serving a sentence of 15 years, having received credit toward that sentence for 2,273 days he spent imprisoned on a prior conviction for transportation of a firearm in interstate commerce by a convicted felon, which was overturned on appeal. Crooker filed suit under the Unjust Conviction and Imprisonment Act, 28 U.S.C. 1495, 2513, seeking damages for the time he spent in prison on overturned conviction, despite the sentencing credit. The Court of Federal Claims awarded him the statutory maximum for the first 1,259 days, $172,465.75. The Federal Circuit reversed: the entirety of Crooker’s “unjust” imprisonment has been applied to a “just” conviction and, as a result, he will spend no more time in prison than he is legally required. Crooker is not entitled to any damages under the Unjust Conviction and Imprisonment Act. View "Crooker v. United States" on Justia Law