Sentencing Tips

Mar

Bloomberg Law Insights published an article by Alan Ellis and Mark Allenbaugh titled, "Manafort’s Sentencings—A Clarion Call to Re-Calibrate U.S. Sentencing Guidelines." In their article, Ellis and Allenbaugh discuss why Paul Manafort's two sentences illustrate the fact that federal ...

Feb

In a recent article for Law360, Alan Ellis, Mark Allenbaugh, Doug Passon and Jonathan Edelstein discuss United States v. Haymond, 869 F.3d 1153, a case before the Supreme Court on February 26, 2019. The court will determine whether the Constitution precludes a judge from imposing “heightened punishment on [defendants out on supervised release] based, not on their original ...

Jan

Federal criminal sentencing experts Alan Ellis and Mark Allenbaugh dissect the First Step Act of 2018, a new bipartisan federal prison reform law. In Part 1 of a three-part series, the authors focus on the significant expansion of the “safety valve;” the reduction of mandatory minimum penalties for second and third-strike offenders; the elimination of a particular draconian ...

Dec

Law360 is publishing a series of articles written by Alan Ellis. The series is part of the Expert Analysis section of Law360's White Collar Crime practice category. For the series, Mr. Ellis interviewed federal judges at length and asked them to share some dos and don'ts for lawyers and their clients who appear before them at sentencing, as well as ...

Jul

At the time then-judge Gorsuch was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Trump, we wrote about his position on "relevant conduct." A year later, President Trump has nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh to take the seat of retiring Justice Kennedy. Judge Kavanaugh shares the concerns of Justice Gorsuch on the impact judge-found facts drive federal sentencings, often increasing terms of ...

Jun

The federal presentence investigation report (PSR) is the document most heavily relied on by a judge in imposing sentence—particularly in those cases where a guilty plea has been entered and the court knows little about the defendant. It also is the document that the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) relies on in making designations and placements and many other decisions ...

Jan

In this article, published in Bloomberg Law's White Collar Crime Report, Alan Ellis, Mark Allenbaugh and Doug Passon discuss the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision examining the use of acquitted conduct at sentencing. The authors argue that based on the high court’s ruling, only facts arising out of a final conviction, and not elements of acquitted, dismissed, or uncharged crimes, ...

Dec

Rule 35 and Prior State Sentences United States v. Hankton, No. 16-31126 (5th Cir. Nov. 16, 2017) In Hankton, defendants, at their federal sentencings, had the time they had served on prior, related state sentences credited toward their federal sentences. Quoting Hank Sadowski, former and now-retired Bureau of Prisons’ Regional Counsel, who has written and lectured extensively on the subject ...

Nov

This table, prepared by the Federal Defender Program of Chicago in 2001, is a useful predictive tool. It is not an official BOP document and should not be relied on as such. Please note that good time credits do not apply to sentences of one year of less. Click to see the Good Time Credit Calculation Table.

Nov

In this article published by Bloomberg Law White Collar Crime Report, Alan Ellis and Mark Allenbaugh discuss the proposed amendment to the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines regarding acceptance of responsibility and challenging relevant conduct. Ellis and Allenbaugh argue that any revised commentary to U.S.S.G. § 3E1.1 should make clear that challenges to relevant conduct, as well as arguments in favor of ...

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