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Lengthy gun sentence affirmed in 2011 hotel standoff

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A federal prison sentence of more than 33 years was upheld Monday for a career criminal convicted of leading police on a chase, assaulting an officer until he lost consciousness and staging an armed, four-hour standoff at an Indianapolis hotel in August 2011.

Jamel H. Brown was sentenced to 400 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm, which is well in excess of sentencing guidelines. Numerous other counts were continued until after sentencing on the firearm charge.

Brown failed to convince the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that federal criminal trial rules required the District Court for the Southern District of Indiana to rule on any disputed matter in a presentence report before sentencing. Judge Sarah Evans Barker satisfied requirements in consideration of the presentence report, the court ruled in United States of America v. Jamel H. Brown, 12-3413.

“After hearing from the defendant and listening to the evidence presented by the government, the judge made several statements that confirmed her acceptance of the probation officer’s version of the facts. In addressing the ‘horrific’ nature of the offense at issue, the judge stated that Brown had driven a car through a heavily trafficked area ‘really without regard to anybody else,’ and that his assault on the officer was ‘breathtaking,’” Judge Joel M. Flaum wrote for the court.

Barker “acknowledged that Brown had pointed the firearm at the witnesses in the hotel parking lot ‘and by some unbelievable good fortune’ the gun malfunctioned” when Brown pulled the trigger of a Tec-9 semiautomatic handgun, Flaum wrote. “When the gun malfunctioned, (Barker) stated that Brown continued with his attempted escape, shattering a window in the back of the hotel and then ‘terrorizing’ the people inside while looking for a place to hide.”

“What is essential is that the district judge articulated her view of the disputed facts and explained how they impacted her ultimate sentencing determination,” he continued. “We find no error in the district court’s resolution of the disputed facts or its calculation of Brown’s guidelines range for sentencing.”

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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