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...

Texas Appeals Court Stays the Execution of Clinton Young

Posted on October 18, 2017

Case remanded to Midland Court for review of alleged false testimony Los Angeles, CA. (October 18, 2017) – The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals this morning issued a stay of the October 26 execution of inmate Clinton Young and remanded the case to a Midland District Court to determine if his conviction was based on false testimony. The court’s order comes after the Office of the Federal Public Defender filed papers earlier this month challenging Young’s conviction and sentence. The filing included sworn affidavits from […]..

Categorical Approach Update

Posted on October 16, 2017

United States v. Slade, __ F.3d __, 2017 WL 4509044 (9th Cir. Oct. 10, 2017): The Court held that a conviction under Washington’s second-degree assault statute (Wash. Rev. Code Ann. §9A.36.021) is categorically not a crime of violence under U.S.S.G. §2K2.1 and §4B1.2. United States v. Knight, __ Fed.Appx. __, 2017 WL 4461085 (9th Cir. Oct. 5, 2017): The Court held that a Louisiana armed-robbery conviction (La. Stat. Ann. §14:64) is a crime of violence for purposes of U.S.S.G. §2K2.1 and §4B1.2. United States v. […]..

New Evidence Shows Texas Death Row Inmate Innocent of 2001 Murder

Posted on October 10, 2017

Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California seeks a stay of October 26th execution. MIDLAND, Tex (Oct. 10, 2017) ­‑ Citing compelling new scientific evidence, a 34-year-old death row inmate has asked the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to vacate his scheduled October 26 execution for the 2001 murder of a man in Midland. Attorneys for inmate Clinton Young, also have asked the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to recommend that the Governor grant clemency or a reprieve, saying the new […]..

Sentences Reduced by 1,752 Months for 17 Clients in Past 12 Months Following Johnson Decision

Posted on October 6, 2017

In 2015, in a case called Johnson v. United States, the Supreme Court held that the residual clause of the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA) was void for vagueness.The ACCA is a United States federal law that provides sentencing enhancements for felons who commit crimes with firearms if they are convicted of certain crimes three or more times. If convicted under ACCA, the law imposes a special mandatory prison term of 15 years. Following the Johnson decision, the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central […]..

Eliseo Medina Visits FPD-CDCA to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

Posted on October 5, 2017

In honor of the 2017 Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, this year the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California was joined by prominent labor and immigration advocate Eliseo Medina. Mr. Medina arrived to the United States as a child with his family in the 1950s under the Bracero Program. As a teenager, he worked alongside civil rights giant Cesar Chavez organizing farm workers. He later went on to work for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), becoming the first Mexican-American elected to […]..

10 CASA Participants Graduate from the Los Angeles Program

Posted on October 2, 2017

Today, a graduation ceremony was held at the California Central District’s United States Courthouse in Los Angeles for 10 people who successfully completed the Conviction and Sentence Alternatives (CASA) Program. The event was held in the ceremonial courtroom and presided over by Judges Dolly Gee and Andre Briotte, U.S. District Judges.  Also in attendance were Hon. Paul Abrams, U.S. Magistrate Judge, and Hon. Virginia Phillips, Chief U.S. District Judge. Friends and family attended the graduation ceremony. Staff from the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the […]..

Categorical Approach Update

Posted on September 26, 2017

United States v. Geozos, __ F.3d __, 2017 WL 3712155 (9th Cir. Aug. 29, 2017): The Court held that a Florida robbery conviction (Fla. Stat. Ann. §790.07(2) & §812.13) categorically isn’t a violent felony for ACCA purposes because the crime can be committed with non-violent force. The opinion also includes helpful language concerning what qualifies as a “Johnson claim.” United States v. Ocampo-Estrada, __ F.3d __, 2017 WL 3707900 (9th Cir. Aug. 29, 2017): The Court held that the government failed to meet its modified-categorical-approach […]..