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7th Circuit rules on multiplicitous convictions

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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals encountered for the first time the issue of whether a single incident of firearm possession can support multiple convictions under United States Code when the defendant is included in more than one class of people who are disqualified under the statute from possessing firearms.

This issue had been addressed in other Circuits, which were unanimous in agreement that USC 922(g) cannot support multiple convictions based on a single firearm possession because prosecution is based on possession, not the defendant fitting the definition of persons not allowed to possess a firearm.

Jesse James Parker III raised four challenges to his conviction and sentence of making a false statement on a federal firearms form, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and being an illegal drug user in possession of a firearm: his trial violated the Speedy Trial Act, his firearm possession convictions are multiplicitous, that he received ineffective assistance of counsel, and his term of supervised release was imposed in violation of United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220 (2005).

In U.S.A. v. Jesse James Parker III, No. 05-2798, the 7th Circuit affirmed the District Court's judgment except on the multiplicitous firearm convictions. Because Parker didn't raise this objection in District Court, the court's review is for plain error.

Parker was sentenced to concurrent prison terms on the firearm convictions but was ordered to pay an additional $100 special assessment for the second firearm possession conviction, something the court has held is not sufficient to warrant correction under the plain-error standard. However, based on United States Supreme Court precedent and other Circuit rulings, the 7th Circuit is overruling its previous decision on the issue. The Supreme Court has rejected the argument that a concurrent sentence with a small fee is too insignificant to warrant vacating a multiplicitous conviction, Rutledge v. United States, 517 U.S. 292, 302 (1996). The Rutledge court concluded that one of the multiplicitous convictions must be vacated, despite the lack of a multiplicity objection at sentencing.

The court remands this case to the District Court with the instructions to vacate the sentence on one of the U.S.C. 922(g) convictions and merge the two 922(g) counts into one.

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  2. Access to the court (judiciary branch of government) is the REAL problem, NOT necessarily lack of access to an attorney. Unfortunately, I've lived in a legal and financial hell for the past six years due to a divorce (where I was, supposedly, represented by an attorney) in which I was defrauded of settlement and the other party (and helpers) enriched through the fraud. When I attempted to introduce evidence and testify (pro se) in a foreclosure/eviction, I was silenced (apparently on procedural grounds, as research I've done since indicates). I was thrown out of a residence which was to be sold, by a judge who refused to allow me to speak in (the supposedly "informal") small claims court where the eviction proceeding (by ex-brother-in-law) was held. Six years and I can't even get back on solid or stable ground ... having bank account seized twice, unlawfully ... and now, for the past year, being dragged into court - again, contrary to law and appellate decisions - by former attorney, who is trying to force payment from exempt funds. Friday will mark fifth appearance. Hopefully, I'll be allowed to speak. The situation I find myself in shouldn't even be possible, much less dragging out with no end in sight, for years. I've done nothing wrong, but am watching a lot of wrong being accomplished under court jurisdiction; only because I was married to someone who wanted and was granted a divorce (but was not willing to assume the responsibilities that come with granting the divorce). In fact, the recalcitrant party was enriched by well over $100k, although it was necessarily split with other actors. Pro bono help? It's a nice dream ... but that's all it is, for too many. Meanwhile, injustice marches on.

  3. Both sites mentioned in the article appear to be nonfunctional to date (March 28, 2017). http://indianalegalanswers.org/ returns a message stating the "server is taking too long to respond" and http://www.abafreelegalasnswers.org/ "can't find the server". Although this does not surprise me, it is disheartening to know that access to the judicial branch of government remains out of reach for too many citizens (for procedural rather than meritorious reasons) of Indiana. Any updates regarding this story?

  4. I've been denied I appeal court date took a year my court date was Nov 9,2016 and have not received a answer yet

  5. Warsaw indiana dcs lying on our case. We already proved that in our first and most recent court appearance i need people to contact me who have evidence of dcs malpractice please email or facebook nathaniel hollett thank you

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