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Ruling in Motion for an Order of Restitution on Direct Appeal

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By FindLaw Staff on March 02, 2010 3:02 PM

In US v. Aguirre-Gonzalez, No. 08-1276, the First Circuit faced a challenge to the denial of petitioners' motion for an order of restitution at defendant's sentencing, arising from a fraudulent investment scheme.

The court first addressed the question of whether petitioners, as crime victims denied their right to restitution under federal statutes, may appeal the restitution component of a defendant's criminal sentence.  The court answered in the negative holding that a petition for a writ of mandamus under the CVRA is the exclusive mechanism for appellate review of sentencing order affecting crime victims' rights.  The court further clarified that the 72-hour time limit for mandamus review under the CVRA is precatory, and not mandatory, so that courts may retain authority under certain circumstances after the deadline.

However, the court declined to exercise discretion as the CVRA was in force when petitioners elected to pursue direct appeal rather than petition for a writ under the statute and more than two years have passed since defendant was sentenced. 

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