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US v. Brown, No. 08-1207

By FindLaw Staff on October 19, 2010 5:53 PM

Drug Trafficking Sentence Partially Vacated

In US v. Brown, No. 08-1207, the court affirmed in part defendant's drug trafficking sentence, holding that the district court properly found that defendant's motions seeking to force the government to recommend a downward departure were meritless because no plea agreement requiring such a motion was ever entered and defendant alleged no unconstitutional motive for the government declining to recommend a downward departure.  However, the court vacated in part where the district court erred by refusing to hear defendant's ineffective assistance of counsel claim, raised after his conviction but before sentencing, until after he had been sentenced.

As the court wrote:  "On appeal, defendant-appellant Chad Marks argues, inter alia, that the district court erred by refusing to hear his ineffective assistance of counsel claim, raised after his conviction but before sentencing, until after he had been sentenced. For the reasons stated below, we agree."

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