Thursday, February 12, 2009

Be Careful What You Ask For...

United States v. Beltran, out of the Ninth Circuit, serves as an important cautionary tale for appellate practitioners. The defendant(s) were lucky enough to have received sentences five years less than the statutory minimum, only to have their appellate attorneys argue that the sentences were excessive. Its worth a read to see how, or if, the Ninth Circuit rescued the defendants from their attorneys' request.

Here's the best quote from the decision:
"[t]he odd posture of Jose's appeal brings to mind Oscar Wilde's oft-noted adage: 'When the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers'".