Monday, April 20, 2015

Defendant may seek safety-valve relief at sentencing on remand

U.S. v. Figueroa-Labrada, 2015 WL 1296563 (3/24/15) (OK): In Figueroa, the panel decided as a matter of first impression that § 3553(f)’s safety-valve is available to an accused, who did not cooperate or seek safety-valve relief prior to his initial sentencing hearing, but instead sought to satisfy the safety-valve requirements for the first time on remand before his resentencing. Using the plain text of § 3553(f), the panel concluded that when an accused gives information to the government for the first time on remand, but before the resentencing hearing, a district court must consider that information in determining his eligibility for a safety-valve sentence. The panel also found that the district court’s error was not harmless.