Thursday, January 14, 2021

Right to Appeal SR Conditions Imposed Only In Written Order Can’t Be Waived

US v. SingletarySingletary pleaded guilty to Hobbs Act Robbery. As part of a plea agreement, he agreed to waive his right to appeal the sentence that was "imposed." He was sentenced to 13 years in prison and a 5-year term of supervised release. Two conditions of that release were imposed in the written judgment, but not at Singletary's actual sentencing hearing.

The Fourth Circuit vacated Singletary's judgment and remanded for resentencing under its recent decision in Rogers, in which it held that such special conditions imposed in that manner are invalid since they needed to be imposed in the defendant's presence (mandatory conditions inherent in supervised release do not). The real issue was whether the Government's motion to dismiss should have been granted because of Singletary's waiver of his appellate rights. The court held that it should not be, because the issue raised was outside the scope of the waiver, noting that "the heart of a Rogers claim is that discretionary conditions appearing for the first time in a written judgment in fact have not been 'imposed' on the defendant." Because the waiver did not apply, the court did not address whether the fact that the Government filed its motion to dismiss months too late required it to deny the Government's request.

Congrats to the Defender office in Eastern North Carolina on the win!

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