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Category: Appellate Procedure

Concurrent Sentence Doctrine Alive and Well for Collateral Review

In United States v. Kassir, the Second Circuit (Jacobs, Nardini) held that the concurrent sentence doctrine applies to collateral review of criminal convictions.  Under the doctrine, a court may decline to consider a challenge where it would have no effect on the defendant’s term of imprisonment.  The ruling will deprive some defendants of having their 2255 petitions decided on the merits.  However, if the ruling is applied as it is written, only defendants whose sentences would not be reduced in duration will be so impacted.


Second Circuit Holds Prior Precedent Abrogated by Subsequent SCOTUS Decision

In United States v. Brown (Newman, Hall, and Chin), the Second Circuit addressed two related questions. First, the Circuit held that Dean v. United States, 137 S. Ct. 1170 (2017), abrogated prior circuit precedent in United States v. Chavez, 549 F.3d 119 (2d Cir. 2008), thereby allowing district courts to consider the severity of applicable mandatory consecutive sentences in determining the sentences for underlying predicate offenses.  And, second, the panel concluded that the appropriate remedy under the facts presented was remand for resentencing, rather than merely for clarification.