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Friday, March 09, 2007

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit issues two Indiana-based decisions today

It has been a while since we've seen a case out of Indiana. Today we have two opinions:

USA v. Shoals, James Charles (ND Ind., William C. Lee, Judge), a 6-page PER CURIAM decision. "James Shoals, a felon, was charged with possessing a firearm, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). Shoals moved to suppress the gun, shotgun shells, and inculpatory statements he made to police, arguing that he was detained without probable cause or reasonable suspicion. The district court found probable cause lacking, but concluded that the police had reasonable suspicion and therefore their encounter with Shoals was a legitimate stop under Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 27 (1968). Shoals entered a conditional guilty plea, and now challenges the denial of his motion to suppress. We uphold the denial of Shoals’s motion to suppress and affirm his conviction.

USA v. Hawkins, Gerard (SD Ind., Larry J. McKinney, Chief Judge), a 4-page opinion by Judge Posner:

The defendants were convicted by a jury of violating the federal mail fraud statute, and of related crimes, arising from a scheme to defraud mortgage lenders by submitting inflated appraisals of the property to be mortgaged. They were sentenced (following a remand for resentencing in light of United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220 (2005)) to 63 and 45 months in prison, respectively. Their appeals challenge only their sentences. * * *

Of course we can still review for plain error. But for an error to be plain, it must first of all be an error. Gerard Hawkins’s appeal brief points to no mistake in the presentence investigation report. It merely asserts, without particulars, that the report is flawed. It is not our duty to paw through the report trying to figure out what errors it might contain.

The submission on behalf of Monique Hawkins is incompetent. In an argument section just two pages in length, the brief contends that Booker “specifically hold[s] that any Guideline sentence be calculated based only on facts found by a jury.” That is the “holding” of the dissenting Justices in Booker. See United States v. Booker, supra, 543 U.S. at 284-85 (Stevens, J., dissenting in part).

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 9, 2007 12:40 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions