FPD Blog

Posted by Shelly Twining on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 - 12:57

The Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure were modified effective December 1, 2013.  The new version can be found here.  One change of immediate import affects the structure of the appellant's opening brief and the appellee's brief.  FRAP 28  no longer requires a separate "Statement of the Case" and a "Statement of the Facts."  The rule now in effect combines those two sections of the brief to be called simply "Statement of the Case," which is to set forth the following: "the facts relevant to the issues submitted for review, describing the relevant procedural history, and identifying the...

Posted by Shelly Twining on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - 10:20

On December 3, 2013, following an en banc hearing on October 9, 2013, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued United States v. Blewett, Case No. 12-5226/5582, and held the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 "does not retroactively undo final sentences."  Judge Sutton delivered the opinion, in which Chief Judge Batchelder and Judges Boggs, Gilman, Gibbons, Cook, McKeague, Griffin and Kethledge joined.  Judge Moore delivered a separate opinion concurring in the judgment; Judge Merritt delivered a separate dissenting opinion, in which Judge Donald joined; Judge Clay delivered a...

Posted by Shelly Twining on Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 07:47

On October 9, 2013, that United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit heard en banc oral arguments in the case of United States v. Blewett, et al., Case Nos. 12-5226 and 12-5582.  The issue was whether the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 should be given complete retroactive effect.  In other words, should the FSA be applied to defendants whose criminal conduct and whose sentencing hearings both pre-date the signing into law of the FSA on August 3, 2010? Frank W. Heft, Jr. of the Western Kentucky Federal Community Defender, Inc. argued for the defendants; Terry M. Cushing...

Posted by Shelly Twining on Wednesday, October 2, 2013 - 08:04

The United States Sentencing Commission recently issued a report entitled “Reevaluating the Effectiveness of Federal Mandatory Minimum Sentences,” wherein they strongly suggest Congress reduce certain statutory mandatory minimum sentences, and also recommend that the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 be made retroactive.  The full report is attached here. 

Statement of Judge Saris, Chair US Sentencing Commission, Sept. 18, 2013