United States v Sanchez-Urias

Sanchez-Urias appealed the imposition of a criminal fine. The panel affirmed holding there was no clear erro in the district court’s finding Sanchez-Urias failed to prove his inability to pay the fine as Sanchez-Urias submitted no evidence on the issue and the difference between his observed income and expenses suggested Sanchez-Urias was hiding assets that could be used to pay the fine.

United States v Howard

Howard objected to the amount of the criminal restitution order. The panel affirmed holding the district court did not clearly erro in awarding replacement value for a scientific machine as the victim purchased a cheaper less advanced unit and thus did not obtain a windfall. It held Howard bore the burden of proving any offset value consistent with the logic of circuit precedent and failed to meet the burden as he provided no evidence of the expenses victim would incur refurbishing the machine or other expenses incurred trying to sell the machine or its components.

United States v Murphy

Murphy appealed dismissal of his successive challenge to his sentence. The panel affirmed. It held that second or successive 2255(h) challenges to sentences must pass through the gates of court of appeals finding of prima facia satisfaction of 2255(h)’s requirements and a district court factual finding that the motion actually satisfies the requirements. It held dismissal was proper here as Murphy was sentenced under the enumerated offenses clause of the career criminal act not the residual clause.

United States v Gieswein

Gieswein appealed his sentence. The panel affirmed. It held the district court procedurally erred in applying the career criminal enhancement as Gieswein’s Oklahoma lewd molestation conviction was not a forcible sex offense under the guidelines as circuit precedent requires a categorical approach, recent amendments to the guidelines speak of elements as to statutory rape and similar offenses and thus the categorical approach is still applicable and the Oklahoma statute does not qualify under the guideline as it covers more victims and more conduct than federal law. The panel held the error was harmless as the district court gave a detailed explanation of its decision to vary based on Gieswein’s long and varied criminal record including a pending charge of assaulting a prison guard which was unrepresented by the guidelines.