Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Unpublished Decisions

U.S. Sanchez-Ponce, 2012 WL 2108226 (6/12/12) (Ut.) (unpub'd) - A defendant cannot get a new trial based on a government witness's recantation of trial testimony unless the trial court finds the trial testimony was "actually false." Here the district court found otherwise, so no new trial.

U.S. v. Elwood, 2012 WL 2087203 (6/11/12) (Okl.) (unpub'd) - Although the district court initially announced it planned to depart upward, ultimately the increase of the sentence from a top of the range of 3 years to 10 years on criminal history grounds was really a variance and so it didn't have to explain the increase in terms of the guidelines.

Chiles v. Oklahoma Department of Corrections, 2012 WL 2161543 (6/15/120 (unpub'd) - Prison officials get qualified immunity because it is not a clearly established constitutional right to have medical restrictions ordered by a doctor honored by the prison. In this case, the doctor told the prison the defendant needed to be given a bottom bunk. A prison employee ordered that he sleep in a top bunk. The prisoner fell from the top bunk and died from head trauma he suffered from the fall.

U.S. v. Rivera-Rivera, 2012 WL 2129392 (6/13/12) (N.M.) (unpub'd) - Perhaps just carelessness, but the 10th says, in clear violation of Booker that a district court should vary downward based on family circumstances only if they are extraordinary.