ILNews

Circuit Court affirms admission of drugs, sentence

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a man’s argument that his past conviction of vehicular flight isn’t a crime of violence, citing a recent decision by the United States Supreme Court on that matter.

In United State of America v. Jadrion Griffin, No. 10-2028, Jadrion Griffin appealed the denial of his motion to suppress a bag of crack-cocaine found in a parking lot after his low-speed chase with police. Griffin claimed he was illegally seized when he threw the drugs in the snow, so the drugs should have been suppressed. He also challenged his 360-month sentence for drug convictions and unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, claiming he shouldn’t have been sentenced as a career offender because his prior conviction of vehicular flight under Indiana law isn’t a crime of violence. He also claimed he should be re-sentenced using the new crack-to-power ratio prescribed by the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010.

The judges had to decide when the seizure of Griffin occurred – when the police initially began following Griffin and activated their lights indicating they wanted him to pull over or when Griffin actually pulled over. Griffin argued that the seizing was a continuous act initiated upon the show of authority by police, but the 7th Circuit rejected his argument, citing California v. Hodari D., 499 U.S. 621, 629 (1991). A seizure by show of authority doesn’t occur unless and until the suspect submits, wrote Judge Diane Sykes.

His argument that he was improperly sentenced because the District Court improperly classified him as a career offender under the sentencing guidelines was quickly dismissed by the federal appellate court. Griffin claimed vehicular flight doesn’t qualify as a crime of violence under the guidelines, but Sykes v. United States, 131 S. Ct. 2267 (2011), says otherwise. The Indiana case dealing with this issue was pending before U.S. Supreme Court when Griffin was argued, so the judges held the instant case.

SCOTUS agreed with the 7th Circuit in Sykes that a conviction for vehicular flight under Indiana law is a crime of violence, leaving Griffin without a leg to stand on, wrote Judge Sykes.

The Circuit Court also rejected his argument that he should be re-sentenced under the FSA because it should be applied retroactively. The relevant date for determining retroactivity is the date of the underlying criminal conduct, and because the FSA was signed into law long after Griffin’s underlying conduct, it has no bearing on his sentence, the court ruled.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Major social engineering imposed by judicial order well in advance of democratic change, has been the story of the whole post ww2 period. Contraception, desegregation, abortion, gay marriage: all rammed down the throats of Americans who didn't vote to change existing laws on any such thing, by the unelected lifetime tenure Supreme court heirarchs. Maybe people came to accept those things once imposed upon them, but, that's accommodation not acceptance; and surely not democracy. So let's quit lying to the kids telling them this is a democracy. Some sort of oligarchy, but no democracy that's for sure, and it never was. A bourgeois republic from day one.

  2. JD Massur, yes, brings to mind a similar stand at a Texas Mission in 1836. Or Vladivostok in 1918. As you seemingly gloat, to the victors go the spoils ... let the looting begin, right?

  3. I always wondered why high fence deer hunting was frowned upon? I guess you need to keep the population steady. If you don't, no one can enjoy hunting! Thanks for the post! Fence

  4. Whether you support "gay marriage" or not is not the issue. The issue is whether the SCOTUS can extract from an unmentionable somewhere the notion that the Constitution forbids government "interference" in the "right" to marry. Just imagine time-traveling to Philadelphia in 1787. Ask James Madison if the document he and his fellows just wrote allowed him- or forbade government to "interfere" with- his "right" to marry George Washington? He would have immediately- and justly- summoned the Sergeant-at-Arms to throw your sorry self out into the street. Far from being a day of liberation, this is a day of capitulation by the Rule of Law to the Rule of What's Happening Now.

  5. With today's ruling, AG Zoeller's arguments in the cases of Obamacare and Same-sex Marriage can be relegated to the ash heap of history. 0-fer

ADVERTISEMENT