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United States v. Gramillo-Garcia

June 3, 2009

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
VICTOR ERASMO GRAMILLO-GARCIA, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Milton I. Shadur Senior United States District Judge

Memorandum Opinion

Non-citizen Victor Erasmo Gramillo-Garcia ("Gramillo") has pleaded guilty to an information charging him with being found in the United States, after once having been deported (in the current vernacular "removed"), without having obtained the consent of the United States Attorney General or the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to his re-entry into this country -- a crime that appears with some frequency on the calendars of this Court and its colleagues. Like many other aliens who confront guaranteed removal (once again) after having served whatever custodial sentences may be imposed on them, Gramillo seeks to obtain the same type of reduction in his sentence that like defendants receive in judicial districts that the Department of Justice ("DOJ") has designated for so-called "fast track" treatment.

Here are the required criteria for a district court's involvement in the fast-track prosecution program, as set out in Paragraph I of the definitive September 22, 2003 memorandum from then Attorney General John Ashcroft to all United States Attorneys:

In order to obtain Attorney General authorization to implement a "fast track" program, the United States Attorney must submit a proposal that demonstrates that:

(A): (1) the district confronts an exceptionally large number of a specific class of offenses within the district, and failure to handle such cases on an expedited or "fast-track" basis would significantly strain prosecutorial and judicial resources available in the district; or

(2) the district confronts some other exceptional local circumstances with respect to a specific class that justifies expedited disposition of such cases;

(B) declination of such cases in favor of state prosecution is either unavailable or clearly unwarranted;

(C) the specific class of cases consists of ones that are highly repetitive and present substantially similar fact scenarios; and

(D) the cases do not involve an offense that has been designated by the Attorney General as a "crime of violence." See 28 C.F.R. § 28.2 (listing offenses designated by the Attorney General as "crimes of violence" for purposes of the DNA collection provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act).

These criteria will ensure that "fast-track" programs are implemented only when warranted.

And here are the minimum requirements for a defendant's plea agreement in order to obtain the benefit of fast-track treatment (Paragraph II.B of the same Ashcroft memorandum):

B. Minimum requirements for "fast-track" plea agreement. The Defendant must enter into a written plea agreement that includes at least the following terms:

(1) The defendant agrees to a factual basis that accurately reflects his or ...


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