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    • Brief

    United States v. Vaughn, No. 4:00CR126-CVE, ECF 1282 (N.D. Okla. July 1, 2021)

    Motion and Memorandum (July 1, 2021)

    Order (July 9, 2021)

    Argument: Mr. Vaughn had been convicted of a federal drug conspiracy for working as a “middle man” for several months in a cocaine and marijuana drug conspiracy.  After turning down a 10-year plea offer, he was convicted at trial and sentenced to mandatory life based on two § 851 prior convictions.  Jason argued that one of Mr. Vaughn’s § 851 priors would not qualify today and, regardless, the most serious mandatory minimum he could face today would be 25 years.  Jason also noted that, due to changes in the law, Mr. Vaughn could not be sentenced as a career offender today either.  After Jason was able to get the government on board, the court agreed, reducing the client’s sentence from LIFE to 25 years.  The court found ECR existed because of:

    1) the sentence disparity created by the change to § 851 in the First Step Act;

    2) the fact that the mandatory minimum deprived the sentencing judge of any discretion (including running Mr. Vaughn’s state sentence concurrent to his federal sentence), and

    3) the disparity between Mr. Vaughn’s sentence compared to co-defendants of greater culpability. 

    To add to this heavy lift, Jason also had to navigate a complicated state/federal concurrent sentencing issue.  The government was not on board with Mr. Vaughn’s concurrent sentencing request, but Jason did a masterful job of presenting this issue to the court.  If the BOP follows the court’s recommendation, the Mr. Vaughn will be released from custody next year.


    • Brief

    United States v. Sloan, 3:93 CR28-MOC (W.D.N.C. June 8, 2021

    Supplement to Pro Se CR Motion (Apr. 22, 2021)

    Response (May 24, 2021)

    Reply (June 1, 2021)

    Def's Notice of Supp Authority (June 2, 2021)

    Order (June 8, 2021)


    Argument: Sloan was originally sentenced to Life plus 540 months after trial on several crack conspiracy and gun counts, Sentence was later reduced to 235 months on drug counts and remained at 540 months on 3 stacked 924(c)s. Sloan has now served 30 years and has 34 years remaining.  Defense argues ECR exists because of following intervening changes in law:

    1)  DOJ's Robinson Memo "adopting practice of basing each Section 924(c) in an indictment upon a separate predicate offense";

    2) pre-Booker, so guidelines were mandatory at time of sentencing

    3) SCOTUS prohibited mandatory LWOP for juvenile offenders as client was between 15-20 during conspiracy and is 48 years old now. 

    4) SCOTUS decided Dean v. US, stating district courts can and should consider the mandatory consecutive nature of 924(c) sentences 

    5) Prior to FSA changing the 924(c) stacking provisions, which would not result in a 180-month sentence, rather thana 540-month sentence

    The Court found ECR existed because Sloan’s original 540-month sentence based on stacked § 924(c)s would result in a 180-month sentence today.  Other supporting factors include strong evidence of rehabilitation (47 programs and work assessments, earned GED, two minor infractions in 30 years of prison); he was juvenile when he committed the crimes and 22 when sentenced; and his strong support network and community. Court reduces sentence to time-served plus 14 days