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

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Indiana State Bar Association

Indianapolis Bar Association

Evansville Bar Association

Allen County Bar Association

Indiana Lawyer on Facebook

facebook
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  2. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

  3. This outbreak illustrates the absurdity of the extreme positions taken by today's liberalism, specifically individualism and the modern cult of endless personal "freedom." Ebola reminds us that at some point the person's own "freedom" to do this and that comes into contact with the needs of the common good and "freedom" must be curtailed. This is not rocket science, except, today there is nonstop propaganda elevating individual preferences over the common good, so some pundits have a hard time fathoming the obvious necessity of quarantine in some situations....or even NATIONAL BORDERS...propagandists have also amazingly used this as another chance to accuse Western nations of "racism" which is preposterous and offensive. So one the one hand the idolatry of individualism has to stop and on the other hand facts people don't like that intersect with race-- remain facts nonetheless. People who respond to facts over propaganda do better in the long run. We call it Truth. Sometimes it seems hard to find.

  4. It would be hard not to feel the Kramers' anguish. But Catholic Charities, by definition, performed due diligence and held to the statutory standard of care. No good can come from punishing them for doing their duty. Should Indiana wish to change its laws regarding adoption agreements and or putative fathers, the place for that is the legislature and can only apply to future cases. We do not apply new laws to past actions, as the Kramers seem intent on doing, to no helpful end.

  5. I am saddened to hear about the loss of Zeff Weiss. He was an outstanding member of the Indianapolis legal community. My thoughts are with his family.

ADVERTISEMENT