Categorical Approach Update

Posted on May 1, 2018

Sessions v. Dimaya, 138 S.Ct. 1204 (2018): The Court held that the residual clause of 18 U.S.C. §16’s crime-of-violence definition is unconstitutionally vague in light of Johnson. And because the vagueness doctrine extends to immigration statutes, 8 U.S.C. §1101(a)(43)(F) is also invalid to the extent it defines “aggravated felony” to include a crime of violence under §16(b)’s residual clause. United States v. Stitt, Supreme Court Case No. 17-765 & United States v. Sims, Supreme Court Case No. 17-766: The Court granted cert to address this […]..

Categorical Approach Update

Posted on March 8, 2018

United States v. Studhorse, __ F.3d __, 2018 WL 1122301 (9th Cir. Mar. 2, 2018): The Court held that attempted first-degree murder under Washington law (Wash. Rev. Code Ann. §§9A.28.020(1), 9A.32.030(1)) requires specific intent and has as an element an intentional, threatened, attempted, or actual use of force, so it qualifies as a crime of violence under 18 U.S.C. §16(a) and U.S.S.G. §4B1.2(a). United States v. Adkins, __ F.3d __, Case No. 15-10566 (9th Cir. Mar. 5, 2018): The Court held that the deletion of […]..

Governor Brown Appoints Ashfaq (Ron) Chowdhury as Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge

Posted on February 27, 2018

Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. today announced the appointment of Ashfaq (Ron) Chowdhury, an attorney with the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California, as a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge. Ashfaq (Ron) G. Chowdhury, 43, of Los Angeles, has been appointed to a judgeship in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Chowdhury has served as a deputy federal public defender at the Office of the Federal Public Defender, Central District of California since 2010. He was an associate at Cole […]..

Categorical Approach Update

Posted on February 7, 2018

United States v. Walton, __ F.3d __, 2018 WL 650979 (9th Cir. Feb. 1, 2018): The Court held that a conviction for Alabama armed robbery (Ala. Code §13A-8-43(a)) is categorically not an ACCA violent felony because it doesn’t require the use of violent force. And under Dixon, the defendant’s California conviction for second-degree robbery (Cal. Penal Code §211) also didn’t qualify as a violent felony. Solorio-Ruiz v. Sessions, __ F.3d __, 2018 WL 576709 (9th Cir. Jan. 29, 2018): The Court held that a California […]..

Ninth Circuit Vacates 15-year ACCA Sentence and Remands for Resentencing

Posted on February 1, 2018

Federal Public Defender for the Central District of California’s DFPD Jonathan Libby successfully convinced the 9th Circuit that our client’s prior convictions for Alabama robbery and California second degree robbery were not crimes of violence under the Armed Career Criminal Act. The panel vacated a sentence and remanded for resentencing in a case in which the district court imposed an enhancement under the Armed Career Criminal Act, 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)(1) (ACCA), on the ground that the defendant had four prior convictions for violent felonies. […]..

Categorical Approach Update

Posted on January 8, 2018

Villavicencio v. Sessions, __ F.3d __, 2018 WL 297186 (9th Cir. Jan. 5, 2018): The Court held that Nevada convictions for conspiracy to possess drugs (N.R.S. §199.480 and §454.351) did not qualify as controlled-substance offenses under 8 U.S.C. §1227(a)(2)(B)(i). First, Nevada’s conspiracy statute, which does not include an overt-act requirement, is broader than generic conspiracy, and the state statute is indivisible. Furthermore, the Nevada drug statute at issue is overbroad to the extent it encompasses controlled substances not covered by the federal Controlled Substances Act, […]..

Categorical Approach Update

Posted on December 13, 2017

United States v. Valdivia-Flores, __ F.3d __, 2017 WL 6044232 (9th Cir. Dec. 7, 2017): The Court held that a Washington conviction for possession of controlled substance with intent to distribute (Wash. Rev. Code Ann. §§9A.08.010(1)(a), 9A.08.010(1)(b), & 69.50.401) was not categorically an aggravated felony because the state drug trafficking law had a more inclusive mens rea requirement for accomplice liability than its federal analogue. And because the state statute is indivisible, the modified categorical approach cannot be used. Therefore, the alien got relief even […]..

Former Federal Public Defender Sean Kennedy Helps Loyola Law School CJLP Receive $1 Million Grant

Posted on November 20, 2017

The Everychild Foundation announced today that its 2017 $1 million grant has been awarded to the Center for Juvenile Law & Policy (CJLP) at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. The grant, payable over three years, will help launch the Everychild Integrated Educational and Legal Advocacy Project.  The project aims to stop the school-to-prison pipeline for “crossover youth,” the name given to foster youth who are also involved in the juvenile justice system. The program anticipates serving 300 unduplicated such youth. When a child enters the […]..

Categorical Approach Update

Posted on November 17, 2017

United States v. Solomon, __ Fed.Appx. __, 2017 WL 4966452 (9th Cir. Oct. 27, 2017): The Court held that an assault conviction under California Penal Code §245(a)(4) is a crime of violence for purposes of U.S.S.G. §4B1.2 under existing circuit precedent, which is not clearly irreconcilable with Descamps, Mathis, or Johnson. United States v. O’Connor, __ F.3d __, 2017 WL 4872571 (10th Cir. Oct. 30, 2017): The Court held that Hobbs Act robbery (18 U.S.C. §1951) is categorically not a crime of violence for purposes […]..

Attorney Seema Ahmad takes part in the Muslim Public Affairs Council annual convention in Los Angeles on bridging the divides in religion, race, and politics.

Posted on November 5, 2017

The Muslim Public Affairs Council annual convention in Los Angeles held a series of panel discussions on bridging the divides in religion, race, and politics. This panel highlighted the challenges between balancing national security and law enforcement with the civil rights of citizens. Our very own Seema Ahmad  was a member of the panel...