FOX News is Reporting – Justice Department to release 6,000 inmates from federal prisons beginning Oct. 30
“The Justice Department will release some 6,000 inmates from federal prisons beginning at the end of the month as part of new sentencing guidelines for drug crimes established last year, a federal law enforcement official confirmed Tuesday to Fox News.”
Often, NLPA is contacted by attorneys who represent federal criminal defendants who are in
need of sentencing assistance to help a defendant receive a lower sentence than being requested
by the prosecution. The case of United States v. Chandra Ross, case number 2:13-cr-00214-1
(S.D.W.Va. 2013) demonstrates how NLPA can assist counsel in the preparation of sentencing
research upon issues that, while not typically considered under the Guidelines, can be utilized to
great effect to receive a fair sentence under 18 U.S.C. §3553. Ms. Ross pleaded guilty to
possession with intent to distribute heroin in violation of 21 U.S.C. §841(a)(1), possession of a
firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense in violation of 18 U.S.C. §924(c)(1)(A)(I),
and possession of a firearm with an altered serial number in violation of 18 U.S.C. §922(k) and
After the conviction, the United States Probation Office prepared a Pre-Sentence Investigation
Report (PSR). A mandatory five year consecutive sentence was also called for based upon the
conviction for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, meaning that
the total sentence range was between 130 and 157 months incarceration. Facing such a harsh
sentence, and needing assistance in the preparation of research challenging the harsh Guideline
sentence, Ms. Ross contacted NLPA to conduct research upon possible means to avoid an unduly
harsh sentence. Therefore, NLPA conducted research on the potential sentence faced by Ms.
Ross, as well as the possibility of avoiding the harsh sentence put forth in the PSR, in
conjunction with Ms. Ross’ attorney, Matthew M. Robinson. NLPA’s research focused on
potential mitigating factors to convince the court to reduce her sentence.
In Ms. Ross’ case, NLPA felt it was important to highlight her many positive qualities.
Accordingly, research was prepared arguing for a reduced sentence based upon the facts that Ms.
Ross was a first-time offender, that she possessed strong family ties, Ms. Ross had a college
education, she possessed a consistent employment history, and most importantly, Ms. Ross had a
strong desire to achieve rehabilitation. It was also pointed out that Ms. Ross suffered from
difficult circumstances, including depression, alcoholism, and Bi-Polar Disorder.
The government, not surprisingly, argued that Ms. Ross had no desire to achieve rehabilitation,
and even went so far as to void the original guilty plea because Ms. Ross failed to testify against
her co-defendant as called for in the plea agreement. However, Ms. Ross feared for her safety,
and for her family’s safety, should she testify against a known drug kingpin.
At sentencing, the district court recognized the above mitigating factors, as well as Ms. Ross’
reasonable fear should she testify against a co-defendant, and decided to issue a sentence of 84
months incarceration, which was 73 months below the Guideline maximum sentence saving
her six years in prison.
The bottom line is that just because an individual faces an overwhelming Guideline sentence
does not mean that all attempts at securing a lesser sentence must be abandoned in deference to
the Probation Office or the federal prosecutor. Instead, by being aware of all possible options,
attorneys can challenge the imposition of sentencing enhancements and improper Guideline
calculations that lack a sound basis in fact and law. From challenging the procedural
mechanisms of imposing a Guideline sentence to arguing the lack of factual support for
sentencing enhancements to presenting mitigating arguments, NLPA has been at the forefront of
attacking insidious and unfair sentences. Should your clients find themselves in similar
situations to Ms. Ross, NLPA stands ready to assist you in the research and preparation of any
motions and/or research necessary to assist you in the vigorous defense of your clients.
NLPA, WE CARE, WE LISTEN, WE GET RESULTS!
DISCLAIMER: This informational memorandum is designed to introduce you to NLPA. As NLPA is not a law firm,
professional services are only provided to licensed counsel in all areas that involve the practice of law.
Nothing presented herein is intended to be legal advice. Such advice can only be provided by a local licensed attorney based on
a full discussion of a client’s individual facts and circumstances. The contents of this document are provided solely for general
informational purposes. Always seek the advice of a licensed attorney for specific legal problems.
The below linked document collects the proposed amendments to the sentencing guidelines, policy statements, and commentary, in the “reader-friendly” form in which they were made available at the public meeting on August 7, 2015. As with all proposed amendments on which a vote to publish for comment has been made but not yet officially submitted to the Federal Register for formal publication, authority to make technical and conforming changes may be exercised and motions to reconsider may be made. Once submitted to the Federal Register, official text of the proposed amendments as submitted will be posted on the Commission’s website at www.ussc.gov and will be available in a forthcoming edition of the Federal Register, and an updated “reader-friendly” version of the proposed amendments as submitted will be posted on the Commission’s website at www.ussc.gov.
The proposed amendment and issues for comment will be subject to a public comment period
running through November 12, 2015. Further information on the submission of public comment will be provided in the forthcoming edition of the Federal Register referred to above. Such information will also be available at www.ussc.gov.
I am writing to thank you and the research staff at National Legal Professional Associates for your
assistance in the above referenced case.
As you know, I have worked with your team of research attorneys over the past year preparing for
Ms. Ross’s sentencing hearing. And, given the changing positions taken by the government, I have
worked with your team to prepare no less than three separate sentencing memoranda.
Going into the sentencing hearing Ms. Ross was facing a range of 131 to 157 months imprisonment.
We filed arguments calling for a sentence far below that guideline range based on several mitigating
factors under 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(2). The court clearly took into account all of the information and
mitigating arguments presented in the three sentencing memoranda and decided to depart
significantly and sentence Ms. Ross to a term of 84 months imprisonment, a reduction of five years
from the guideline range. What is particularly impressive about the five year reduction is the fact
that it was imposed over the government’s objection because Ms. Ross would not cooperate with the
The research and drafting assistance of your staff was extremely beneficial and helped us achieve
this terrific result for Ms. Ross and her family. Thank you again, and I look forward to working with
you and your staff,in the future.
Matthew M. Robinson
Attorney at Law
Many times lawyers are extremely busy and need to receive assistance from firms who provide legal research services such as NLPA.
The mission of NLPA in providing legal research services is to assist solo practitioner and small law firms with the preparation of research in criminal cases so that they will have the same excellent research sources available to them as the large law firms at an affordable price and on an as needed basis.
The attorneys who prepare research for NLPA have many years of experience and provide fast affordable and reliable research for attorneys throughout the United States.
By using a legal research services and consulting firm such as NLPA, an attorney can win more cases an improve his work product without hiring additional staff members. The attorney can also increase his earning potential and stop working nights and weekends on research that is prepared by NLPA instead. If you want to use NLPA’s legal research service to provide research assistance to you in a criminal case, please contact us. One of our lawyers will be happy to speak with you and give you a no-cost and no-obligation estimate of how our research staff can assist you.
National Legal Professional Associates (NLPA), known for the past 25 years for its reputation for assisting defendants and their attorneys in pursuing criminal defense and post-conviction relief, today, announced in conjunction with its new partner, Sterling Financial Group, the formation of the NLPA Family Assistance Division. This non-profit organization has been founded for the purpose of empowering families following the tragedy of having a loved one become incarcerated. It takes a unique approach to helping the 2.2 million affected United States families by coordinating and mobilizing resources to assist with obtaining legal representation for an incarcerated family member, facilitating visitation transportation of the defendant by family members and helping the affected family with humanitarian support and counseling. These levels of assistance are provided at no cost to qualifying defendants and their family members. Application assistance from the NLPA Family Assistance Division can be made online at www.nlpa.com.
Anyone who has a family member serving time in federal prison is interested in looking into ways of helping that individual secure an early release from federal prison. National Legal Professional Associates (NLPA) has for the past twenty-six years assisted defendants and their family members in accomplishing this objective. A defendant can secure an early release from federal prison in many different ways:
(1) He can file an appeal in which he pursues a reduction of his sentence or overturning his conviction;
(2) He can pursue a post-conviction motion in which he raises issues such as new evidence and ineffective assistance of counsel in order to secure an early release from federal prison;
(3) He can file a petition for clemency or for compassionate release as a way of receiving an early release from federal prison citing family member circumstances and other mitigating factors that could serve as a basis of reducing his time in prison;
(4) If the defendant is eligible for consideration for parole, he can file a petition with the United States Parole Commission requesting early release from federal prison on parole.
National Legal Professional Associates can assist a defendant and his attorney in the preparation of all of the above. If a defendant needs a new lawyer to represent him and to file the petitions that National Legal Professional Associates’ researchers will prepare, NLPA can also provide references for attorneys who will be happy to represent a defendant at a reduced price since NLPA’s researchers are preparing the petition to be filed.
Many individuals who have contact with the justice system have the need for legal advice from a top-rated lawyer.
Legal advice can only be provided by a licensed attorney. If an individual who is not a licensed attorney provides legal advise to an individual that providing of legal advice could be considered to be the unauthorized practice of law. therefore, when you need assistance with matters relating to criminal defense, sentencing, appeals, post-conviction motions, or immigration matters, it is critical that you contact an attorney licensed in the appropriate jurisdiction to provide this legal advice. NLPA works with attorneys throughout the United States to provide to them legal advice and research which they can then utilize in the representation of their client. If you need assistance in obtaining legal advice and want to be referred to a lawyer who can assist you in this way, please contact NLPA. We can refer you to a licensed lawyer who will be happy to receive NLPA’s research assistance.
Is the statement contained in the December 2013 issue of the American Bar Association journal. This statement relates to the fact that California has now begun to release prisoners after reforming the California Three Strikes Law.
The California Three Strikes Law which was passed in 1994 was advertised as a way to keep violent repeat offenders off the streets. The California Three Strikes Law doubled prison time for a second felony if there was a prior serious or violent felony as defined by state law. However, to qualify for the life sentence called for in the law, the third felony did not have to be serious or violent. Because of this, California courts began sentencing defendants to life for crimes like petty theft and drug possession.
Because of this law, second and third strikers made up roughly twenty-five percent of California’s prison population which caused a tremendous budget strain. Studies reflect that 3,000-3,500 of California’s current third-strikers under the California Three Strikes law are serving twenty-five years to life for non-serious felonies.
Accordingly, because of this, an overwhelming majority of Californians voted in 2012 for proposition 36, a new law that radically reformed the California Three Strikes Law. Under this new change to the California Three Strikes law, inmates who are already serving life sentences for non-violent, non-serious crimes can now file a post-conviction petition with the court asking for resentencing. Under the new law, inmates who have served up to nineteen years are eligible for resentencing which usually means release from prison.
If you, a family member or a client, are serving an extremely lengthy sentence because of the California Three Strikes Law and you want to look into getting the sentence reduced, contact NLPA at 11331 Grooms Road, Suite 1000, Cincinnati, Ohio 45242 or call our office at (513) 247-0082.