Articles Posted in US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of defendant's motion for a sentence reduction under 18 U.S.C. 3582(c)(2). The court held that, because defendant has already served the entirety of his otherwise eligible sentence, he was ineligible for a sentence reduction pursuant to section 3582(c)(2). The court noted that the cases involving statutory mandatory consecutive sentences were not persuasive with respect to unrelated sentences like defendant's. The court need not, and did not, decide whether sentences may be aggregated when a statutory mandatory consecutive sentence and a guidelines sentence were imposed in the same proceeding. View "United States v. LLewlyn" on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's denial of a preliminary injunction that would have enjoined University of Alabama (UA) officials from applying UA's grounds use policy to the intersection of University Boulevard and Hackberry Lane. Plaintiff, a traveling Christian evangelist, would be prevented from speaking on UA's campus unless he complied with its terms. The court held that the district court properly found the intersection was a limited public form within UA's campus and thus did not abuse its discretion in denying the preliminary injunction. View "Keister v. Bell" on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed Defendant Presendieu's convictions, and vacated Defendant Jean's sentence in a case involving an illegal check-cashing scheme. The court held that Presendieu did not show that the district court plainly erred, either as a matter of constitutional due process or under Rule 11, in accepting defendant's guilty plea. The court held, however, that the district court clearly erred in holding Jean responsible for the approximately $84,000 of loss incurred as a result of a codefendant's independent check-cashing activity. The court also held that the district court did not err in applying to Jean's sentence a two-level sentence enhancement under USSG 2B1.1(b)(11)(B)(i) and a two-level enhancement under USSG 2B1.1(b)(10)(C) for the use of sophisticated means. Finally, the district court did not err by denying Jean's request for a minor role reduction under USSG 3B1.2(b). The court remanded for the district court to resentence Jean. View "United States v. Presendieu" on Justia Law

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Defendant appealed his sentence under 28 U.S.C. 2255 after the district court granted his motion to vacate or correct his earlier sentence. The Eleventh Circuit vacated the sentence and remanded for resentencing, holding that the district court abused its discretion by vacating the sentence on defendant's one and only count of conviction and modifying his sentence without conducting a resentencing hearing. On remand, the district court was instructed to hold a resentencing hearing with defendant and his counsel present. Only after considering the factors in 18 U.S.C. 3553(a) and explaining the basis for any variance, could the district court impose a new sentence. View "United States v. Brown" on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction for reentering the country illegal following deportation. The court held that defendant was unable to meet the requirements that would allow for a collateral attack of her underlying deportation order. Even assuming without deciding that defendant was correct in asserting that a conviction for Florida grand theft no longer qualified as a crime involving moral turpitude, the court held that defendant was not deprived of a meaningful opportunity for judicial review of her deportation order and may not collaterally attack her underlying deportation order in these 8 U.S.C. 1326 proceedings. The court also held that the district court's evidentiary rulings were either not erroneous or, if they were, the error was harmless. View "United States v. Watkins" on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's imposition of a sentencing enhancement that applied when a defendant has been deported after committing a "crime of violence" as defined by USSG 2L1.2(b)(1)(A)(ii). The court held that defendant's previous conviction under Georgia law of aggravated assault as defined by O.C.G.A 16-5-21(a)(2) was a crime of violence under the operative version of USSG 2L1.2 and warranted the 16-level sentencing enhancement provided for in section 2L1.2(b)(1)(A)(ii). View "United States v. Morales-Alonso" on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed defendant's conviction of defrauding investors with regard to real estate located on the island of Rum Cay in the Bahamas. The court held that the district court properly denied defendant's motions for a judgment of acquittal; the district court did not err in determining the loss amount, restitution award, and defendant's sentence; and the district court did not err in denying defendant's motion to vacate the verdict for alleged juror misconduct. View "United States v. Foster" on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed defendants' convictions related to their involvement in an extensive Medicare fraud scheme. The court rejected Defendants Crabtree, Marks, and Salafias' double jeopardy argument where there were no issues from the first trial that were essential to the healthcare fraud conspiracy count in the second trial; held that there was sufficient evidence at trial to uphold defendants' convictions for the second trial; rejected defendants' trial-related claims; and held that the district court properly applied the organizer or leader and vulnerable victims enhancements to Defendant Rousseau's sentence. View "United States v. Crabtree" on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed Defendant Beaulieu's convictions for drug trafficking and firearms offenses, holding that the district court did not err in its answer to the jury's questions, and the government did not commit prosecutorial misconduct that prejudiced defendant's right to a fair trial. The court also affirmed Defendant Oscar's convictions for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm on two different dates. The court rejected defendants' claims that the district court erred during jury deliberations in regard to Juror 11, and the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying Oscar's motion for severance. However, the court vacated Beaulieu’s sentence imposed under the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), 18 U.S.C. 924(e), holding that he was not subject to the ACCA's enhanced penalties and was not an armed career criminal as defined under USSG 4B1.4(a). View "United States v. Oscar" on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed defendant's sentence after he was convicted of conspiracy to commit bank fraud. The court held that the district court did not clearly err by finding that defendant was accountable for the scheme's entire intended loss amount, and by applying a four-level sentencing enhancement because the victims suffered substantial financial hardship when they were made insecure in life's basic necessities View "United States v. Castaneda-Pozo" on Justia Law