Jump to content

Acquitted By Jury, Then Sentenced


Recommended Posts

This arguably belongs in the stupid drug war thread, but it's a special kind of drug war stupidity and might be used outside the drug war for all I know.

Acquitted Conduct Got Florida Man A Longer Sentence
 

Quote

 

...

Rural Alabama might have seemed like an ideal choice for an out-of-the-way smuggling camp, but unfortunately for Lynn and the rest, it landed them in the jurisdiction of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Alabama, which at the time was run by a zealous federal prosecutor named Jeff Sessions.

Sessions would go on to represent Alabama in the U.S. Senate, where he earned a reputation as one of Congress' staunchest defenders of the drug war and mandatory minimum sentences.

"The only offer I ever got from Jeff Sessions was a life sentence," Lynn says. "And if you're offered a life sentence, you're going to go to trial."

At trial, Lynn was convicted on seven counts of conspiracy to import and distribute marijuana and cocaine. He managed to beat the most serious charge of being a leader or organizer of the drug trafficking organization under the Continuing Criminal Enterprise statute, also known as the "kingpin" statute. ("I was just acting as UPS," Lynn says. "I was point A to point B.")

But the judge used what's known as "acquitted conduct" to enhance Lynn's sentence. Although a jury declined to find Lynn guilty of being a leader or organizer, the judge used the charge to add four points to Lynn's score under the federal sentencing guidelines anyway. Lynn's offense level was increased by two levels for possession of a firearm during commission of the offense, which he was also never convicted of; four levels for his supposed role as a leader; and two levels for obstruction of justice.

The use of acquitted conduct in sentencing strikes many as antithetical to the principles of the U.S. justice system. Sens. Dick Durbin (D–Ill.) and Chuck Grassley (R–Iowa) introduced a bill last year that would ban the use of acquitted conduct at sentencing. "That's not acceptable, and it's not American," Grassley has said of the practice. But the legislation went nowhere.

Of the 21 co-defendants in the drug conspiracy, Lynn was the only one who was sentenced to life—seven concurrent life sentences, in fact, thanks to a stiff sentencing recommendation from Sessions' office.

Lynn was looking at a bleak future of life and death behind bars without the possibility of early release. Federal parole was abolished in 1987 as a result of the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984, a bill spearheaded by then–Sens. Strom Thurmond (R–S.C.) and Joe Biden (D–Del.), who would go on to spend the 2020 Democratic primary and general election running away from his criminal justice record. In addition to getting rid of parole, the bill created the U.S. Sentencing Commission and the federal sentencing guidelines, ushering in the current era of determinate sentencing.

Supporters of the legislation—and there wasn't much -opposition to speak of—hoped the guidelines would impose uniformity and end the wild disparities in sentencing that could occur for identical crimes from judge to judge and district to district. But reducing the discretion of judges gave more of it to prosecutors in the plea bargain process, especially when combined with the mandatory minimum sentences that Congress also created. That's how Sessions' office could confidently offer Lynn a take-it-or-leave-it "deal" of life in prison for violating the kingpin statute.

...

 

Da fuk? Even noted drug war dinosaur Grassley can see that the part I bolded above is wrong. Too bad he and Durbin could not find support to eliminate the practice.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Durbin, Grassley, Cohen, Armstrong Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Prohibiting Punishment of Acquitted Conduct Act
 

Quote

 

U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the lead sponsors of the landmark First Step Act, today introduced the bipartisan, bicameral Prohibiting Punishment of Acquitted Conduct Act of 2021.  This legislation would end the unjust practice of judges increasing sentences based on conduct for which a defendant has been acquitted by a jury.  U.S. Representatives Steve Cohen (D-TN-09) and Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) plan to introduce House companion legislation next week.

...

One prominent example of this unjust practice is the 2005 case of Antwuan Ball, who, along with his co-defendants, was convicted of distributing a few grams of crack cocaine, but acquitted of conspiring to distribute drugs.   Despite this, the sentencing judge held Mr. Ball responsible for the conspiracy, nearly quadrupling his sentence to 19 years.  Mr. Ball asked the Supreme Court to consider his case, but the Court denied the petition for the writ of certiorari.  Justice Scalia wrote a blistering dissent, joined by Justices Ginsburg and Thomas, noting that “not only did no jury convict these defendants of the offense the sentencing judge thought them guilty of, but a jury acquitted them of that offense.”  Scalia decried the practice, writing that, “this has gone on long enough.”

...

 

Maybe they'll have better luck this time.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The first link above is to a 2019 article, which said

Quote

Fortunately, both the Supreme Court and Congress will soon have opportunities to clarify that acquitted conduct sentencing is unjust and unconstitutional. First, on the judicial side, the cert petition currently pending before the Court in Asaro v. United States explicitly raises the question of “[w]hether the Fifth and Sixth Amendments prohibit a federal court from basing a criminal defendant’s sentence on conduct underlying a charge for which the defendant was acquitted by a jury.”

The Supreme Court declined to hear the Asaro case a bit over a year ago. There was no dissent from the denial this time.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Apparently nobody cares.

 

You've chosen to ignore content by Shambolic Tom. Options

You've chosen to ignore content by Shambolic Tom. Options

You've chosen to ignore content by Shambolic Tom. Options

You've chosen to ignore content by Shambolic Tom. Options

You've chosen to ignore content by Shambolic Tom. Options
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Shambolic Tom said:

This arguably belongs in the stupid drug war thread, but it's a special kind of drug war stupidity and might be used outside the drug war for all I know.

Acquitted Conduct Got Florida Man A Longer Sentence
 

Da fuk? Even noted drug war dinosaur Grassley can see that the part I bolded above is wrong. Too bad he and Durbin could not find support to eliminate the practice.

 

It's tricky how flexible some of these judges get to be huh Normy? When it comes to sentencing, the harsher-sentending judges maintain the right to impose even longer sentences than the law allows. But then when jury activists start to yap, about the jury being able to decide on guilt, innocence and the laws themselves, the judges strike back, the legal system isn't built on active and aware juries. Some of these judges aspire to a career in politics, so they do what politicians do, they embrace populism in their sentencing.

And if they do their job in a popular way, they accumulate lots of votes, find an office from a popular vote, we're left with these folks, and then we forget to blame ourselves, for wanting a government run by charismatic psychopaths rather than dull public servants.

Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

Apparently nobody cares.

 

You've chosen to ignore content by Shambolic Tom. Options

 

You've chosen to ignore content by Shambolic Tom. Options

 

You've chosen to ignore content by Shambolic Tom. Options

 

You've chosen to ignore content by Shambolic Tom. Options

 

You've chosen to ignore content by Shambolic Tom. Options

The sad part is that Tom does make some good points.  In fact, he often makes good points.  He just buries them in such a wall of bullshit and text that people can't be bothered to pick them out.  He never learned the art of presentation and talking to his audience.  Or he's just a windbag.  And he still hasn't figured out that repeatedly quoting himself and responding to his own posts is annoying to most folks.  If you don't get answers to your thread, move on.  People don't care.  This isn't a personal blog, and people who act like it is are just being asses.

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Grrr... said:

The sad part is that Tom does make some good points.  In fact, he often makes good points.  He just buries them in such a wall of bullshit and text that people can't be bothered to pick them out.  He never learned the art of presentation and talking to his audience.  Or he's just a windbag.  And he still hasn't figured out that repeatedly quoting himself and responding to his own posts is annoying to most folks.  If you don't get answers to your thread, move on.  People don't care.  This isn't a personal blog, and people who act like it is are just being asses.

Once he (and Jeffreaux) chimed in that dead kids were the price they were willing to pay for their freedom, I stopped listening to either of them. Good points or not.  They will both chime in now that they didn't really mean it that way. Meh.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Shambolic Tom said:

This arguably belongs in the stupid drug war thread, but it's a special kind of drug war stupidity and might be used outside the drug war for all I know.

Acquitted Conduct Got Florida Man A Longer Sentence
 

Da fuk? Even noted drug war dinosaur Grassley can see that the part I bolded above is wrong. Too bad he and Durbin could not find support to eliminate the practice.

 

 

Cocaine is a nasty drug. I've seen it destroy many families.

I notice you removed any dates showing when the arrest and trial too place. Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.

But yes the drug war much like the poverty war, both has been an abysmal failure resulting in lots of wasted money and effort.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

Apparently nobody cares.

Not necessarily true. I find these posts interesting and well worth reading. In fact I find most of his posts worth reading. It's only when he gets on to his whining hobbyhorse about - woe is him - his wife's pathetic 22LR Ruger that I switch off. He should have a special screen name for those posts - I'd suggest Tendentious Tom...

FKT

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Grrr... said:

The sad part is that Tom does make some good points.  In fact, he often makes good points.  He just buries them in such a wall of bullshit and text that people can't be bothered to pick them out.  He never learned the art of presentation and talking to his audience.  Or he's just a windbag.  And he still hasn't figured out that repeatedly quoting himself and responding to his own posts is annoying to most folks.  If you don't get answers to your thread, move on.  People don't care.  This isn't a personal blog, and people who act like it is are just being asses.

I took an interest in the topic and posted three more times to share additional info I found. That's an annoying wall of bullshit?

4 hours ago, Meat Wad said:

Cocaine is a nasty drug. I've seen it destroy many families.

I notice you removed any dates showing when the arrest and trial too place. Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.

But yes the drug war much like the poverty war, both has been an abysmal failure resulting in lots of wasted money and effort.

 

I agree it's a terrible drug. I grew up in Miami in the 70's and 80's and have a bit of experience with lives ruined and lost as well.

You can read the article if you want to know dates for some reason. The original indictment was 1989. He got out this year under a hardship petition due to his age and vulnerability to Covid. Also, guns.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

Not necessarily true. I find these posts interesting and well worth reading. In fact I find most of his posts worth reading. It's only when he gets on to his whining hobbyhorse about - woe is him - his wife's pathetic 22LR Ruger that I switch off. He should have a special screen name for those posts - I'd suggest Tendentious Tom...

FKT

You misspelled tedious.

Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Shambolic Tom said:

I agree it's a terrible drug. I grew up in Miami in the 70's and 80's and have a bit of experience with lives ruined and lost as well.

Cocaine has been in the USA for a long, long time, over a hundred years. But when they cook the coke into crack, that's another thing ... crackheads from the 1990s are still managing that addiction in 2021. Once you do crack, you don't go back. Even when they stop, they have a hard time living life as a normal human again.

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, mikewof said:

Once you do crack, you don't go back. Even when they stop, they have a hard time living life as a normal human again.

Where the fuck do you read this shit??

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, MR.CLEAN said:

Where the fuck do you read this shit??

 

 

Personal experience

Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, mikewof said:

Cocaine has been in the USA for a long, long time, over a hundred years. But when they cook the coke into crack, that's another thing ... crackheads from the 1990s are still managing that addiction in 2021. Once you do crack, you don't go back. Even when they stop, they have a hard time living life as a normal human again.

I tried it in the 80's. It hadn't been named crack at the time so we thought of it as a kind of "freebase."

I haven't used coke in any form since the 80's and haven't missed it a bit. But I've never had an easy time living life as a normal human being.

Sad to see that only Sloopy and Meat Wad came close to addressing the thread topic.

On 3/22/2021 at 1:39 PM, Meat Wad said:

Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.

The amount of time, and how it is calculated, is kinda the point here.

On 3/22/2021 at 12:31 PM, SloopJonB said:

Apparently nobody cares.

Undeniably true. Well, except for me, but I don't count because I don't sing with the chorus.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, MR.CLEAN said:

Where the fuck do you read this shit??

2 places ...

Keith Haring ...

Keith-Haring-%E2%80%93-Crack-is-Wack-198

And I "read" the memories in my onw brain from dealing with half-a-lifetime of recovering crackheads. Once you do crack, you don't go back.

Yeah, there are a few people who tried it, puffed it, got a baby high, and never pick it up again or baby puff recreationally. But anyone who has inhaled fully, held in their lungs until they couldn't hold it any longer, and Mother Nature forces them to take a breath, you don't go back, Clean. Ten years worth of endolphins (yes, endolphins, not endorphins) ... ten years worth of endophins cascade from the upper deepest pores of the central nervous system, rain into the body at the same time. Ten years worth of saved pleasure, all swamping the body at once. And from that day forward, a crackhead chases that first perfect high, as the body desperately tries to replenish the neural proteins of synaptic transmission. The only way that crackhead can ever again obtain that perfect high is to put down the crack pipe and wait.

Not for a day, not for a week, or a month, or a year. But put down the crack pipe for about ten years.

So Clean, how many crackheads do you know who can put down the crack pipe for ten years?

Yeah, crack is whack. If you don't think crack is whack, it's because you are either a crackhead, or a never-been crackhead, but you are not a recovering crack addict. So get down on one knee and spill a little bit of that holy craft brewed beer in front of your hipster beard to the Almighty Lord of Hipsters that you are neither a crackhead nor a recovering crackhead. It's a gift, Clean. Be thankful for gifts.

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, mikewof said:

Yeah, there are a few people who tried it, puffed it, got a baby high, and never pick it up again or baby puff recreationally. But anyone who has inhaled fully, held in their lungs until they couldn't hold it any longer, and Mother Nature forces them to take a breath, you don't go back, Clean. Ten years worth of endolphins (yes, endolphins, not endorphins)

I took such a giant hit that I got enwhales, not just endolphins, then puked on the stairs.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Shambolic Tom said:

I took such a giant hit that I got enwhales, not just endolphins, then puked on the stairs.

You dodged a bullet. I've seen that stuff rip through lives in a way that even heroin sometimes can't. It's not really the drug itself that's so dangerous, more then lifestyle that it tends to develop.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/25/2021 at 2:54 AM, mikewof said:

And I "read" the memories in my onw brain from dealing with half-a-lifetime of recovering crackheads.

Mikey the "COVID-19 does not kill people" drug expert.

tenor.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, rantro said:

Mikey the "COVID-19 does not kill people" drug expert.

 

You should smoke crack Randumb, you'll love it, and it won't hurt you at all. You'll finally feel intelligent, and respected by your peers. And then when the feeling goes away, just take another hit. Rinse, lather, repeat ... you'll do great.

Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, mikewof said:

You should smoke crack Randumb, you'll love it, and it won't hurt you at all. You'll finally feel intelligent, and respected by your peers. And then when the feeling goes away, just take another hit. Rinse, lather, repeat ... you'll do great.

Mikey the "Trump is more liberal than Obama" crack expert!

tenor.gif?itemid=6165317

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, rantro said:

Mikey the "Trump is more liberal than Obama" crack expert!

I voted for Obama. TWICE. You didn't even vote for Obama once.

Smoke crack. It will help you ease into your rapidly progressing dementia with a greater sense of purpose.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, mikewof said:

I voted for Obama. TWICE. You didn't even vote for Obama once.

Smoke crack. It will help you ease into your rapidly progressing dementia with a greater sense of purpose.

So you voted for the stupid one Mikey?   Really?  Do you ever stop bullshitting?

Mikeythreequotes.thumb.jpg.c2b2218704e4791f2706b3a24691f5ef.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/24/2021 at 11:30 PM, mikewof said:

You dodged a bullet. I've seen that stuff rip through lives in a way that even heroin sometimes can't. It's not really the drug itself that's so dangerous, more then lifestyle that it tends to develop.

Bah, you've bought in to drug war scare mongering. I know lots of people who started down bad roads with that drug and others and turned around. The "lifestyle" is fostered by the drug war, as are ridiculous prison sentences like the one in the topic post.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Shambolic Tom said:

Bah, you've bought in to drug war scare mongering. I know lots of people who started down bad roads with that drug and others and turned around. The "lifestyle" is fostered by the drug war, as are ridiculous prison sentences like the one in the topic post.

That's the bullet you dodged. Perhaps thank your middle class protections?

In the 1990s, a kid from Corona Queens, who got caught jumping the turnstile to get to school, and then was discovered with a bag of crack rock in his pocket, did not have an easy time clearing his plate for the promising career in front of him at City College in engineering. By the time he got past that whole thing, he found himself unable to catch up with the CCNY program and he ended up stripping and waxing floors at a couple Crazy Eddy stores. His crack addiction might have been manageable enough without the criminality component and just his addiction, but the criminality component was there then and is still there now.

The difficulty of weaning oneself from a drug as addictive as crack is that it leaves one open to the whims of enforcement. That you didn't move from your first try into a full-on addiction isn't testament to the weakness of the drug, but perhaps to your general healthy constitution. I've seen so many people walk into that particular drug with one set of values and emerge with a completely different set.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/26/2021 at 2:16 AM, rantro said:

So you voted for the stupid one Mikey?   Really?  Do you ever stop bullshitting?

 

I didn't vote for Trump. I voted for Obama twice, Hillary and Biden. (Actually, in a sense, I voted for Biden three times.)

You didn't vote for Obama once, you didn't vote for Obama twice, you didn't vote for Biden at all, and you never voted for Hillary.

Clearly, given your hatred of women and minorities, you voted for Jim Saleam. You see, the defining characteristic of you is that you're intellectually limited, you have the shape and form of a grown up, but of course, you're a child, because you're incapable of recognizing any level of complexity in the human condition. You latch onto "good" and "bad" the way an 8-year old pores over comic books.

In a certain sense, it's amusing enough, your simplicity. But in a larger way, it's just kind of sad, an adult who wanders through life with sufficient intelligence to know that your conspiracy theories about Jooz and Nanothermite and 9/11 are a bunch of hooey, but without the desire to actually produce thought that has value and substance. You are perfect for Political Anarchy, I fully expect that you will post here until they drop you into the ground, with your conspiracy theories flooding the place like an overwhelmed leaching field.

astro meme.png

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/23/2021 at 6:55 PM, MR.CLEAN said:

Where the fuck do you read this shit??

 

 

The Quaker Gazette?.....

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, mikewof said:

I didn't vote for Trump. I voted for Obama twice, Hillary and Biden. (Actually, in a sense, I voted for Biden three times.)

"Trump is less stupid than Obama."

Mikewof; 26 December 2016.

200w.gif?cid=82a1493bmyay4rh96al5fajmjks

Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, rantro said:

"Trump is less stupid than Obama."

Mikewof; 26 December 2016.

"Bush Jr. dropped bombs on the heads of brown people in deserts by remote control,
Obama dropped bombs on the heads of brown people in deserts by remote control,
Trump dropped bombs on the heads of brown people in deserts by remote control,
Biden dropped bombs on the heads of brown people in deserts by remote control." - mikewof

 

"Bush Jr. bombed the World Trade Center with Nanothermite,
Obama bombed Afghanistan with Nanothermite,
Trump bombed Australia with Nanothermite." - Randumb, aka "rantro

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...