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Why am I Still in Prison if my Conviction was Reversed?

Defendant was convicted of conspiracy to distribute and/or possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine power and 50 grams or more of crack cocaine.  The district court sentenced defendant to life imprisonment.

The appellate court reversed defendant's conviction, finding that the government violated defendant's Fourth Amendment rights by installing a GPS device on defendant's car without a warrant.  The government sought review, and the Supreme Court granted the petition for a writ of certiorari.  The appellate court withheld its mandate pending final disposition by the Supreme Court.

In the interim, defendant filed a motion for release pending appeal, claiming that he was not a flight risk or a danger to the community.  Although the district court initially found that it lacked jurisdiction to consider defendant's motion, the appellate court held that the district court in fact retained jurisdiction to consider the motion.  Further, the appellate court determined that in addressing defendant's motion, the district court needed to decide whether it was appropriate to treat defendant "(i) pursuant to 18 U.S.C.S. § 3143(b)(2) and 3145(c), as a defendant found guilty and seeking appeal, (ii) pursuant to § 3142, as a defendant awaiting a new trial, or (iii) pursuant to § 3143(c), as a defendant awaiting a government 'appeal' in the form of a petition for writ of certiorari."

Although no federal case had addressed this exact circumstance, the district court determined that § 3143(b)(2) was the appropriate standard.  Defendant's appeal was still pending with the appellate court, which had withheld its mandate pending review by the United States Supreme Court.     

Further, the district court held that defendant failed to establish that he was not a flight risk and that he was not a danger to the community.  In addition, the district court determined that defendant failed to offer any "exceptional reasons" why his detention would be inappropriate.  Therefore, the district court denied defendant's motion for release pending appeal. subscribers can access the Lexis enhanced version of the United States v. Jones, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85052, decision with summary, headnotes, and Shepard's.

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