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Comments to BOP on Applying First Step Act Good Time Credit to D.C. Code Offenders (November 2021)
Comments to the Bureau of Prisons Office of General Counsel regarding a proposed rule to apply good-time credits earned under First Step Act provisions to individuals in BOP custody with convictions under the D.C. Code.
Letter to House Judiciary on Consequences in Revenge Porn Cases in the SHIELD Act (January 2020)
Letter to the House Judiciary Committee regarding penalties and prosecutorial requirements for revenge porn cases, as proposed in the Stopping Harmful Image Exploitation and Limiting Distribution (SHIELD) Act of 2019 (H.R. 2896).
Almanza-Arenas v. Lynch
Amicus Curiae Brief of the Ninth Circuit Federal Public and Community Defenders, The California Public Defenders Association and individual California Public Defender offices, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in Support of Petitioner-Appellant During Pendency of Rehearing En Banc.
Argument: Rendon faithfully applied Descamps's "Elements-Based" approach and correctly held that state law determines a statute's elements. The government and Judge Graber's approach is inconsistent with Descamps, resurrects Aguila-Montes, and creates tension with a century of state law. State law – not Shepard documents – determines a statute's elements. In California, the Shepard-approved documents will not necessarily reflect a crime's elements. Courts must look to state law—rather than the Shepard documents—to identify an offense's elements. At a minimum, this Court should apply the rule of lenity. Applying these principles reveals that California vehicle theft contains a single, indivisible set of elements. The Almanza approach permits defense attorneys to accurately advise their clients of immigration consequences.