IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS EASTERN DIVISION
June 8, 2009
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
DOUGLAS M. THIGPEN, DEFENDANT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Milton I. Shadur Senior United States District Judge
Douglas Thigpen ("Thigpen") has just submitted a letter that he captions "Rule 35 Sentence Reduction & Interstate Compact Transfer," accompanied by some supporting materials. This memorandum order is issued (1) to advise Thigpen that this Court has no jurisdiction to provide him with the relief that he seeks and (2) to send Thigpen's materials on to the United States Attorney's office, with a copy of his letter (but not the accompanying materials) being sent to his trial counsel Gareth Morris, Esq.
As for the jurisdictional issue, Fed. R. Crim. P. ("Rule") 35(b), which addresses the possible reduction of a criminal sentence if a defendant has "provided substantial assistance in investigating or prosecuting another person," is specifically made applicable only if the government brings a motion seeking such reduction. In the absence of such a motion, the court is without power to provide a criminal defendant with any such relief.
As for the second purpose served by this memorandum order, this Court is of course not in a position to consider an ex parte communication such as Thigpen's (this should not be misunderstood as a criticism of Thigpen, who as a non-lawyer may well be unaware of that prohibition). Accordingly the material is being sent to the United States Attorney's office for its consideration of the matters raised by Thigpen, while copies of his letter and this memorandum order are of course transmitted to his trial counsel as an informational matter.
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