U.S. Veterans and the criminal justice system

    New Orleans-area Criminal Courts Trying to Help Troubled Veterans During the recent Veterans Day holiday, like most people in America, I was thinking about the plight of former soldiers. A large number of veterans are plagued by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression and other mental-health issues. They are dealing with substance abuse, financial problems, homelessness, criminal charges, civil disputes, lack of family or marital support – the list goes on.   The conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq that began early in the first presidential term of President George W. Bush were extremely costly in terms of the loss [...]

By |2015-12-02T17:05:15+00:00December 2nd, 2015|Categories: Crime Related News, Sentencing|Tags: |

Montgomery vs. Louisiana – U.S. Supreme Court Hears Arguments

  Montgomery v. Louisiana: Retroactive Application of Miller v. Alabama Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court debated whether a 2012 decision (Miller v. Alabama) – which struck down state laws imposing a mandatory and automatic life sentence without parole on juvenile convicted of homicide – should apply retroactively. At the time, the decision was meant to apply prospectively, and many states changed their laws accordingly. But a case for retroactive application, brought by Henry Montgomery, a 70-year-old inmate of Angola, made its way to the court and was argued in mid-October. Montgomery reportedly committed the murder when he was 17. [...]

By |2015-11-16T22:58:49+00:00November 11th, 2015|Categories: Sentencing, U.S. Supreme Court|

Preliminary Versions of Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015

  U.S. Senate and House Introduce Separate Versions of Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015   Committees from both the U.S. Senate and the House have introduced bills that could reform federal sentencing. Below is a brief recap of each piece of legislation.   Senate Bill Reduces the enhanced penalties that apply to repeat drug offenders and eliminates the three-strike mandatory life provision, but allows those enhanced penalties to be applied to offenders with prior convictions for serious violent and serious drug felonies.   Expands the existing safety valve to offenders with more extensive criminal histories but excludes defendants [...]

Overview of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines

  What are the Federal Sentencing Guidelines? The federal sentencing guidelines are rules that federal judges are required to consider when sentencing someone who has been convicted of a crime.   These guidelines are written by the U.S. Sentencing Commission, an independent government agency that is part of the judicial branch of the federal government. The commission also advises the other branches of government on criminal policy matters and collects and analyzes crime and sentencing data.   How the Federal Sentencing Guidelines Work The federal sentencing guidelines take into account both the seriousness of the offense and the offender's criminal [...]

By |2015-10-16T00:54:11+00:00October 14th, 2015|Categories: Federal Crimes, Sentencing|Tags: , |

U.S. Sentencing Commission 2014 Overview of Federal Criminal Cases

  Sentencing Commission Overview of Federal Criminal Cases Fiscal Year 2014 The Sentencing Commission has published an overview of the 75,998 federal criminal cases in which the offender was sentenced in fiscal year 2014. Among these cases, 75,836 involved an individual offender and 162 involved a corporation/“organizational” offender. In fiscal year 2014:   24,011 drug cases were reported to the Commission, accounting for 31.7 percent of all cases. Most of these cases involved drug trafficking offenses.   There were 22,238 immigration cases, accounting for 29.3 percent of the total federal caseload.   There were 7,925 firearms cases reported to the [...]

By |2015-09-25T16:32:09+00:00September 25th, 2015|Categories: Federal Crimes, Sentencing|Tags: , |

U.S. Sentencing Commission Weighs Lesser Penalties White Collar Crimes

  U.S. Sentencing Commission considers softer sentences for white collar crimes In the coming year the Feds will consider changes to sentencing guidelines for some white-collar crimes. The U.S. Sentencing Commission, which earlier this year reduced guideline ranges for nonviolent drug crimes, unanimously approved its latest set of items on the books. The top priority will be working with Congress on reducing mandatory minimum penalties for many white-collar crimes. Another goal will be measuring the fairness of sentences for fraud and other economic crimes. The legal panel had been reviewing data for several years, but plans to hear more from judges, [...]

Federal Drug Prisoners May Be Released Sooner

  It’s Time to Open these Gates! The U.S. Sentencing Commission (USSC) voted in favor of making new federal drug guideline sentence reductions retroactive.   Most of you know by now, our country is in the midst of an incarceration crisis.  Our great nation locks up more, per-capita, than any other nation.  Many of these inmates are victims of harsh sentencing initiatives resulting from the failed war on drugs. Last week, we received good news from Washington.  Nearly, 46,000 federal drug offenders (25% of BOP population) will be able to file a motion in court to have their sentence reduced by [...]

Parole Eligibility Laws — Louisiana

  Happy New Year!  I know that my blog has been rather quiet lately. The past few weeks have been packed with good food, family and friends,making goals for the new year and planning how I intend to accomplish said goals.  Anyway, I am back and ready to serve up some information onLouisiana criminal laws as well as my personal musings.   Before Christmas, I attended the annual end of the year Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminar hosted by the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (LACDL), an organization that I encourage all Louisiana criminal attorneys to join.  This CLE [...]

By |2015-01-28T23:15:29+00:00January 6th, 2014|Categories: Parole, Sentencing|Tags: , |

SUMMARY OF THE MULTIPLE OFFENDER LAW — Louisiana

  Habitual Offender Law New Orleans SUMMARY OF THE MULTIPLE OFFENDER LAW  -- La R.S. 15:529.1 The District Attorney may charge a person as a multiple or habitual offender after that person has been convicted of more than one felony. A felony is any crime which is punishable by imprisonment at hard labor. Common felonies include theft and receiving stolen things valued over $300.00, nearly all crimes of violence and drug crimes, burglary, issuing worthless checks over $100.00, and many other crimes. After the first felony conviction, the penalties for all subsequent felony convictions become much more severe. A prior conviction [...]

New Bill Would Eradicate Mandatory Minimum Sentences For Marijuana Possession In Louisiana

New Orleans Drug Crimes Defense Attorney   Elizabeth B. Carpenter Law -- New Orleans Marijuana Defense Attorney   Serving Orleans, Jefferson, St. Tammany, St. John, Baton Rouge, St. Charles, Plaquemines Parishes.   New Bill Would Eradicate Mandatory Minimum Sentences For Marijuana Possession In Louisiana   Both the Louisiana House and Senate will reconvene for the 2013 Legislative Session in April 8, 2013.  As an attorney, I subscribe to email alerts regarding legislative news.  This evening I was thrilled to see a proposed bill that would eradicate mandatory minimum sentences for Marijuana Possession.   This bill is House Bill 103, sponsored by state Rep. Austin Badon, D-New Orleans. [...]