Supreme Court Holds Post Sentence Rehabilitation Important at Re Sentencing

In 2010, I appeared before Judge William Shubb for final sentencing in the case of United States v. Jeff Grubbs. Jeff Grubbs was arrested in 2003, and spent almost 4 months in jail before he was bailed out. We litigated his matter extensively, solely on the search issues. We lost, and were allowed to plead guilty in 2004 with a reservation allowing us to appeal the search issue. He was sentenced to 41 months. He was allowed bail pending appeal.

The appeal went up to the Supreme Court and back down to the Ninth Circuit. We did prevail on a minor issue regarding the confession in the Ninth Circuit, and so we decided to eventually withdraw our prior guilty plea, and then re plead right away again. At sentencing, the major issue was whether Judge Shubb could consider Jeff’s post sentence rehabilitation. Jeff had been excellent since the sentence in 2004. It had been 6 years. Judge Shubb, over the position of probation and the United States, felt that the case law and statutes allowed him to consider the post sentence conduct of Jeff. He sentenced him to straight probation. He was taking a chance on him. Jeff has lived up to that so far.

Today, the United States Supreme Court decided as Judge Shubb did last year. In United States v. Peppers, they held that post sentence conduct is relevant for re sentencing purposes. They over ruled contrary case law. The opinion is available here.

Former Attorney General Thornburgh Criticizes Over Federalization Of Criminal Matters

“Sacrificing The Rule Of Law In The Pursuit Of Justice.” Former Attorney General Richard Thornburgh delivers a well reasoned criticism of the expanse of federal criminal law and especially the legislation of serious penalties for crimes that are vague and ambiguous. His very interesting comments are in a written speech delivered to the Heritage Foundation in Washington D.C. and are available here.

Banks Closing Accounts Of Legal California Dispensaries Based On Federal Demands

Recently, in the Eastern District and elsewhere, banks have closed the accounts and sent packing the legal dispensary businesses. Several dispensaries in the Sacramento area, and San Joaquin as well, have had their accounts closed and the money frozen for a 30 day period.

The Press Democrat exposes the situation in the Northern District as well. One wonders what happens in Oakland and San Francisco, also the home of legal dispensaries and the financial and banking center of northern California.

Despite Obama’s proclaimed policy of respecting state marijuana laws, federal regulators are increasing the pressure on banks to crack down on medical marijuana businesses that are legal under state law. One might think that in this time of economic straits, federal regulators would have better things to do. In the words of California NORML, “An example of how the federal war on drugs has become a hydra-headed bureaucratic monster raging out of control.”Continue reading