(Cross-posted from the C.D. Cal. Federal Public Defender Blog.)
Administrative note: The next edition of the Roundup (covering this week's cases) will post on Monday, Apr. 9.
New Sentencing Data. The U.S. Sentencing Commission's 2011 Annual Report and Sourcebook of Federal Sentencing Statistics is out. Click this link to download a copy. Click this one to read Berman's rundown. And click this one for Berman's rundown on the new quarterly data for FY12.
Using Setser to Leverage §3583(c)(1)(A). Steve Sady has some ideas about how to put the compassion back into "compassionate release" by using the Supreme Court's decision in Setser.
Also Known to Statisticians as "Chance." The Huffington Post has obtained reports from a state K-9 unit showing that the rate at which drug dog "alerts" resulted in discovery of measurable amounts of drugs was 25.7 percent. (H/T FourthAmendment.com.)
Top of the Ninth - 9th Cir. decisions released during the week.
• U.S. v. Rodrigues (habeas) (any Skilling error in instruction was harmless).
• U.S. v. Major (evidence of other acts to prove identity, and of gang affiliation to prove motive and identity, were okay under Rules 404(b) and 403) (even if restriction on communication between custodial defendant and his attorney violates the Sixth Amendment, defendant did not provide evidence or argument sufficient to make out such a violation) (§924(c) does not violate separation of powers) (sentence of 750 years was not cruel and unusual) (under rule of lenity, when district court does not have sufficient information to determine order in which jury found guilt on multiple §924(c)s, convictions must be ordered so as to minimize mandatory minimum). Ninth Circuit Blog's analysis here.
• Setser v. U.S. (district court may order federal sentence be consecutive to anticipated state sentence).
• Vartelas v. Holder (immigration) (IIRIRA cannot retroactively bar lawful permanent resident's return to United States after brief trip abroad).
Grants of Certiorari:
• Florida v. Harris (whether qualified dog sniff provides probable cause for vehicle search).
• Woods v. Holbrook (habeas) (GVR'ing Ninth in light of Martinez v. Ryan).
• Arthur v. Thomas (11th Cir.) (habeas) (district court improperly dismissed petitioner's challenges to Alabama's lethal injection procedure).
• U.S. v. House (10th Cir.) (unpub'd) (defendant's possession of pocket knife did not make him "armed with a weapon," and his denial about being so armed was not a false statement justifying frisk).
• Beaty v. FDA (D.D.C.) (barring federal import of thiopental not approved by FDA). Via BLT.
• U.S. v. Roberts (E.D. Pa.) (rejecting officer's story - tinted windows, traffic stop, insubordination, drugs and gun in plain view - as "carefully constructed to stay just within the constraints of the Fourth Amendment)).
The Week in Sausage Making. Measures introduced include H.R. 4269 (interstate transportation of firearms); H.R. 4271 (reauthorization of VAWA); S. 2234/H.R. 4259 (to prevent human trafficking in government contracting); S. 266 (sharing of immigration information among federal, state and local law enforcement); S. 2276/H.R. 4309 (to permit federal officers to remove state actions involving crimes of violence to federal court).
For the Bookworms - New books and scholarly articles of note.
• "The Concept of Harm in Constitutional Criminal Procedure," Justin S. Murray, working paper (2012) (SSRN) (outlines a "common law" of harm and uses it to critique and advocate reform of current doctrines in constitutional criminal procedure).
• "Arbitrary Death: An Empirical Study of Mitigation," Emily Hughes, 89 Wash. U. L. Rev. 581 (2012) (abstract|pdf).
Suggestions or corrections? Email Michael_Drake@fd.org.