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United States v. Vaughn

United States District Court, D. Maryland

October 22, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
MICHAEL LYNN VAUGHN

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          PAULA XINIS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Defendant Michael Lynn Vaughn filed a motion for release pending appeal pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3143(b). (ECF No. 133). The Government notified the Court of its opposition by e-mail to chambers. No hearing is necessary. For the following reasons, the motion will be denied.

         The pertinent statute. 18 U.S.C. § 3143(b)(1), provides that a sentencing judge:

shall order that a person who has been found guilty of an offense and sentenced to a term of imprisonment, and who has filed an appeal or a petition for a writ of certiorari, be detained, unless the judicial officer finds--
(A) by clear and convincing evidence that the person is not likely to flee or pose a danger to the safety of any other person or the community if released under section 3142(b) or (c) of this title: and
(B) that the appeal is not for the purpose of delay and raises a substantial question of law or fact likely to result in
(i) reversal.
(ii) an order for a new trial,
(iii) a sentence that does not include a term of imprisonment, or
(iv) a reduced sentence to a term of imprisonment less than the total of the time already served plus the expected duration of the appeal process.

         The Government does not contend that the Defendant is likely to flee or present a danger. or that the appeal is for the purpose of delay. It does, however, challenge whether the Defendant can show that the appeal raises a substantial question of law or fact likely to result in reversal, an order for a new trial. or a sufficiently reduced sentence.

         The Defendant will argue on appeal that there insufficient evidence exists to prove that he took any action in his official capacity as Delegate that was influenced by a third party. The Fourth Circuit stated in United States v. Steinhorn. 927 F.2d 195. 196 (4th Cir. 1991):

We adopt the procedure first announced in United States v. Miller, 753 r.2d 19 (3d Cir. 1985). and subsequently accepted by every other circuit, see United States v. Perholtz, 836 F.2d 554. 555 (D.C. Cir. 1987). In applying S 3143(b)(2)[now (I)] the court must make two inquiries after finding that the appeal is not taken for the purpose of delay. First, whether the question presented on appeal is a "substantial'" one. Second, if decided in favor of the accused, whether the substantial question is important enough to warrant reversal or a new trial on all counts for which the district court imprisoned the defendant. Miller. 753 F.2d at 23-24.

         The court then adopted the definition of "substantial question" in United States v. Giancola. 754 F.2d 898, 901 (11th Cir. 1985). which is "a 'close" question or one that very well could be decided the other way'" The second prong, as ...


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