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9th Circuit Reverses Marijuana Distribute & Conspiracy Conviction

USA v. Jose Ramirez-Ramirez Docket: 21-10127, Opinion Date: August 22, 2022. Defendant was tried for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and conspiracy to do the same during a one-day bench trial. Defendant subsequently filed a motion for findings of fact under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 23(c). Although he acknowledged that the motion might be untimely because the rule requires that such a motion be made “before the finding of guilty or not guilty,” Defendant argued that he had been unaware that the court intended to deliver its finding without a hearing. The district court denied the motion. The Ninth Circuit vacated the judgment of conviction. The panel held that the district court plainly erred by making only a written finding of guilt after trial, in violation of Defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to a public trial. The panel concluded that, although the usual remedy would be a remand to announce the finding in open court, the district court had already reiterated its finding of guilt publicly during Defendant’s sentencing, rendering such a remedy superfluous.

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Here's what BPH Commissioners are saying:

“Um, you did start recently taking programs through the outside company, Posse Solutions, and it appears you did diligently complete those. You submitted your writings for that which demonstrate that you’ve learned a lot about your insight and your risk factors, things like that.” --BPH Commissioner Julie Garland, 4/28/2022 re: Posse Solutions, LLC Client Frank Soberanis AM2409

“[Y]ou’ve demonstrated good insight into your criminal history and the causative factors of your life crime. Uh, you have accepted responsibility for crimes and you don’t minimize or deflect blame. You also seem to have a understanding of, and a remorse for the harm you caused your victims.” BPH Commissioner Julie Garland, 4/28/2022 re: Posse Solutions, LLC Client Frank Soberanis AM2409

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“Mr. Soberanis, we do not find evidence of current dangerousness, and we are granting you parole today.” --BPH Commissioner Julie Garland, 4/28/2022 re: Posse Solutions, LLC Client Frank Soberanis AM2409

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