Prison Pete

Friday, April 08, 2005
The first paragraph below was written by a Federal District Court judge on December 28, 2004 denying my most recent appeal to the courts.

The second paragraph is from the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the case United States v. Booker issued January 12, 2005.

District Court:
"In this case, the federal crimes and state crimes that petitioner pled guilty to do not contain identical elements. Furthermore, taking into account pending criminal matters in state court to enhance a federal sentence does not mean petitioner was punished for pending crimes. Rather, the federal judge enhanced petitioner's sentence based on his prior acts, an ability that is within the discretion of a federal judge. Accordingly, petition is denied."

U.S. Supreme Court
"Accordingly, we reaffirm our holding in Apprendi: any fact (other than a prior conviction) which is necessary to support a sentence exceeding the maximum authorized by the facts established by a plea of guilty or a jury verdict must be admitted by the defendant or proved by a jury beyond a reasonable doubt."

At the time I was originally sentenced by the U.S. District Court, I had not been found guilty or pled guilty to the charges in New York State. As a matter of fact, the federal judge specifically stated he was adding the extra time, eight-and-a-half years over the initial sentence of one-and-a-half years, for the crime I did plead guilty to, in the event no other jurisdiction brought charges against me.

It seems clear to me that the latest U.S. Supreme Court ruling makes clear that the federal judge did act beyond his authority. My appeals have always been based on the fact that had the issue of the federal sentence been properly argued in the NY State courts, the double prosecution punishment statues would have prohibited the state from adding additional time.

Hopefully the latest ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court will give the necessary legal backing to my issue.

Hope is still alive and is one of the most important things a prisoner can have. HOPE!
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