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 […]..

STAR Program Graduation Ceremony Held for 8 Participants – Largest Number in STAR History

Posted on September 21, 2017

The Substance Abuse Treatment and Reentry (STAR) Program in Los Angeles celebrated the largest graduating class in its history with 8 participants who successfully completed the program. The graduation ceremony was held in the U.S. Courthouse in Los Angeles and presided over by the Hon. Otis D. Wright, II.  Also in attendance were Hon. Virginia Phillips, Chief U.S. District Judge, and Magistrate Judge Rozella Oliver. Friends and family attended the graduation ceremony. Staff from the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California […]..

8 Participants Graduate from Riverside CASA Program

Posted on September 8, 2017

The Riverside Conviction and Sentence Alternatives (CASA) Program celebrated another graduation today with 8 particpants who successfully completed the program. The graduation ceremony was held in the U.S. Courthouse in Riverside and presided over by the Hon. Jesus Bernal, U.S. District Court Judge. Also in attendance were Hon. Virginia Phillips, Chief U.S. District Judge, and Magistrate Judge Kiya Kato. Friends and family attended the graduation ceremony. Staff from the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California attended the graduation, led by Hilary […]..

Former Trial Unit Chief Firdaus Dordi Appointed as Los Angeles Superior Court Judge

Posted on August 25, 2017

Firdaus Dordi, former Trial Chief of the Federal Public Defender for the Central District of California (FPD-CDCA), was appointed to the Los Angeles Superior Court bench by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. in December 2016. Firdaus was sworn in by former Federal Public Defender Maria Stratton in January 2017. Firdaus spent 14 years with the FPD-CDCA, starting as a Deputy Federal Public Defender and ending his career as the Chief of the Los Angeles office’s trial unit. An investiture was held on August 25, 2017, […]..