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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit issues one Indiana opinion today

In U.S. v. Wheaton (ND Ind., Springmann), a 3 page opinion, Judge Posner writes:

The defendant’s supervised release was revoked because he admitted having violated its terms by helping to distribute marijuana; by way of sanction the judge ordered him to serve 36 months in prison. The defendant appealed. His lawyer has filed an Anders brief in which he reviews the grounds for an appeal and concludes convincingly that all would be frivolous. See Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967). Only one point in the brief warrants discussion. The defendant admitted as we said that he had violated the terms of his supervised release, and, as the Anders brief explains, there can be no doubt that the admissions were knowing and voluntary, so that any challenge to them would be certain to fail. But we add that the defendant could not prevail even if the admissions were not shown to be knowing and voluntary. For he does not ask to withdraw the admissions. He objects to the 36- month prison term that the judge imposed but not to the revocation of supervised release on the basis of the admissions he made. * * *

The logic of Knox extends to a case (also one of first impression) in which the defendant does not challenge the revocation of his supervised release. We hold therefore that he cannot be allowed to challenge admissions that undergird that revocation. He can challenge them and the revocation, but if he is content with the revocation (fearing the possible consequences of a new revocation hearing) he cannot challenge it indirectly by attacking the admissions on which it was based.

Counsel’s motion to withdraw as counsel is granted and the appeal dismissed.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 22, 2010 12:39 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions