Tuesday, November 25, 2008

District Judge = "Judicial Officer" for Bond Appeal (Who Knew?)

US v. Goforth: Goforth pleaded guilty to a drug offense carrying a maximum sentence of more than ten years in prison. He sought release pending sentencing from the district court, which concluded detention was mandatory under 18 USC 3143(a)(2). Specifically, the court concluded that it was not a "judicial officer"under 18 USC 3145(c) because that provision was limited to circuit courts.

The Fourth Circuit reverses, holding that the plain language of the statute clearly makes district judges judicial officers. The court vacated the district court's order and sent the case back for consideration of whether the defendant should be able to "go forth."