Posted on November 13, 2016
In 2014, the Department of Justice, under the Obama Administration, announced the Clemency Initiative, which invited petitions for commutation of sentence from nonviolent offenders who were convicted of drug offenses. In August 2016, Deputy Federal Public Defender Andre J. Townsend successfully secured a grant of clemency for his client, Keldren Joshua. Mr. Joshua was a low-level, non-violent drug offender who was sentenced to 15 years in prison for conspiracy to distribute 500 grams of methamphetamine. Pursuant to President Obama’s grant of his clemency petition, Joshua […]..
Posted on November 11, 2016
Cases Esquivel-Quintana v. Lynch, Case No. 16-54 (Oct. 28, 2016): The Supreme Court granted review to address this question: “Whether a conviction under one of the seven state statutes criminalizing consensual sexual intercourse between a 21-year-old and someone almost 18 constitutes an ‘aggravated felony’ of ‘sexual abuse of a minor’ under 8 U.S.C. §1101(a)(43)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act – and therefore constitutes grounds for mandatory removal.” Rios-Vizcarra v. Wigen, __ Fed.Appx. __, 2016 WL 6156049 (9th Cir. Oct. 24, 2016): The Court upheld […]..
Posted on October 28, 2016
On October 27, 2016, Federal Public Defender Hilary Potashner and other attorneys and staff from the FPD-CDCA visited Dorsey High School in Los Angeles to help coach students participating in the Constitutional Rights Foundation Mock Trial Program. This year’s Mock Trial Program case, People v. Awbrey, involved a restaurant owner accused of the human trafficking and false imprisonment of an immigrant laborer. The FPD-CDCA team helped students practice and refine their motions argument, opening and closing statements, and witness examinations in advance of the competition. […]..
Posted on October 21, 2016
On October 21, 2016, Rose Angulo and Marta VanLandingham, attorneys with the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California, were invited to visit the mock trial team at Camino Nuevo Charter Academy, Los Angeles. The team, coached by 8th grade Humanities teacher Kristine Garcia, was already strong in arguing and reasoning skills, but wanted assistance in the structure of the trial, the use of evidence, and their overall delivery. Rose and Marta were extremely impressed by the students, who may have been […]..
Posted on October 21, 2016
Cases Lynch v. Dimaya, Case No. 15-1498 (Sept. 29, 2016): The Supreme Court granted review to address this question: “Whether 18 U.S.C. §16(b), as incorporated into the Immigration and Nationality Act’s provisions governing an alien’s removal from the United States, is unconstitutionally vague.” United States v. Martinez-Lopez, Case No. 14-50014 (9th Cir. Sept. 26, 2016): The Court ordered rehearing en banc in this illegal-reentry case to apply the categorical approach to California Health & Safety Code §11352. The case presents two issues: (1) whether the […]..
FPD-CDCA Staff Discuss Death Penalty with Students at Alliance Judy Ivie Burton Technology Academy High School
Posted on October 18, 2016
Staff at the FPD-CDCA visited a classroom at the Alliance Judy Ivie Burton Technology Academy High School in Los Angeles on Monday, October 17, 2016. The focus of the presentation was capital cases. Our staff did a role play activity in which students had to situate themselves in the middle of a death penalty case and consider multiple perspectives on this important issue. Students had to take ownership of their position and defend it. The activity segued into a discussion about the importance of defending […]..
Posted on October 13, 2016
On October 13, 2016, our staff from the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California (FPD-CDCA) participated in Downtown Magnet High School’s In2Action Community Service Fair. Our office had a table at this event that included information regarding the work that we do at FPD-CDCA. Students from all grades stopped by the table and spoke with our staff to discuss the different career opportunities at an FPD office. Each student that stopped by also received a free miniature copy of the Bill […]..
Posted on October 4, 2016
Staff at the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California participated at the First Annual Colton Joint Unified School District Career Affair on Tuesday, October 4, 2016. Students, parents, siblings, teachers, and other professionals visited the FPD-CDCA booth where our staff were able to talk about their jobs and discuss what training was needed to obtain a job like theirs. Over 400 people stopped by their booth. Our staff also participated on a legal panel with other members of the local legal […]..
Posted on October 4, 2016
Today, Koren Bell, an attorney with Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California, argued before the United States Supreme Court in the federal appeal of our client, Lawrence Shaw. The Court granted review to interpret 18 U.S.C. §1344(1), which prohibits any scheme to defraud a financial institution. Bell argued that this statute requires the government to prove that a defendant both intended to deceive a bank and intended to thereby cheat that bank by taking its property. The transcript of the oral […]..
Attorney General Kamala Harris Issues Smart on Crime Award to the California Central District’s CASA Program
Posted on July 8, 2015
On July 8, 2015, the Office of the Attorney General’s Division of Recidivism Reduction and Re-entry presented a Smart on Crime Award to the California Central District’s Conviction and Sentencing Alternatives (CASA) program. The award recognizes individuals who are leading the way in innovative criminal justice programs. The award recipients demonstrate leadership in the development of successful recidivism reduction programs and are making substantial contributions to re-entry efforts in California. The CASA program, including members of its team with the Federal Public Defender’s Office for […]..