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Written Statement to USSC on Proposed Amendments to the Sentencing Guidelines (November 2015)
On behalf of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, I am grateful to the Commission for promoting dialogue on these important issues and strongly urge retroactive adoption of the elimination of the residual clause.
Johnson v. United States
Brief for National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, National Association of Federal Defenders, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, and Cato Institute as Amici Curiae in Support of Petitioner.
Argument: Despite this Court’s repeated efforts to divine a workable standard from the vague wording of ACCA’s residual clause, numerous circuit splits persist or have even deepened. The residual clause is unconstitutionally vague as to all possible predicates. ACCA’s imposition of a substantial, mandatory minimum sentence warrants heightened scrutiny.
Walker v. United States
Brief of FAMM and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers as Amici Curiae in Support of Petitioner (on petition for a writ of certiorari)
Argument: The question that has divided the circuits is of critical importance to thousands of federal prisoners. The decision below gravely misreads the federal post-conviction relief statute. The Eighth Circuit’s rule contradicts the plain text of § 2244. The Eighth Circuit’s rule leads to arbitrary results. The severity of the consequences to petitioner and many others similarly situated – and the disutility of their sentences to society – underline the urgency of granting review.