U.S. First Circuit - The FindLaw 1st Circuit Court of Appeals News and Information Blog

Decisions in Criminal Cases, Plus Civil Rights Case For Police Brutality

In US v. Cardosa, No. 09-1216, the First Circuit faced a challenge to the district court's denial of defendants' motions to reduce their sentences for crack cocaine related convictions.  In vacating the judgment and remanding the matter for reconsideration, the court held that where the defendant's existing sentence was ultimately determined by the old crack cocaine guidelines rather than by the career offender guideline, resentencing is within the discretion of the district court.  

Vellejo v. Santini-Padilla, No.08-2586, concerned plaintiffs' suit against the city of San Juan, Puerto Rico, its mayor, and others alleging police brutality.  In affirming the district court's dismissal of the federal and commonwealth-law claims with prejudice, as a sanction for persistent violations of scheduling orders and other discovery misconduct, the court held that plaintiffs' arguments are waived as none were timely presented to the district court and, even looking beyond the waiver, on the facts the district court did not abuse its discretion. 

US v. Al-Rikabi, No. 08-2327, concerned a challenge to the district court's imposition of a 151-month sentence after applying a managerial role enhancement to defendant's guideline sentencing range in a prosecution for conspiracy to possess crack cocaine with intent to distribute.  In vacating the sentence, the court remanded for resentencing in concluding that the adjustment is unsupported by the record.     

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