United States v. Darin Lewis (11th Cir. June 2019)

The Federal Docket

August 25, 2019

Sentencing/Appeal Waivers – A defendant’s appeal waiver remains binding and in effect even when the Government objects to a sentence imposed by the district court that is above the range stipulated to or recommended by the Government in the plea agreement.

The Court held that the defendant had waived his right to appeal through his plea agreement with the Government despite the Government joining his objection to the district court that the sentence imposed was unreasonable.

The Government had stipulated to a recommended sentence in the plea agreement, but by objecting to the district court sentence exceeding their recommendation, the Government “did not intentionally relinquish or curtail any right it received in the bargain, including its right to enforce the appeal waiver.” Here, the Government’s decision to object to the sentence did not alter the terms of the waiver.

Appeal from Middle District of Alabama

Opinion by E. Carnes, joined by J. Carnes and Clevenger (by designation from the Fed. Circuit)

Click here to read the opinion.

Tom Church - Tom is a trial and appellate lawyer focusing on criminal defense and civil trials. Tom is the author of "The Federal Docket" and is a contributor to Mercer Law Review's Annual Survey in the areas of federal sentencing guidelines and criminal law. Tom graduated with honors from the University of Georgia Law School where he served as a research assistant to the faculty in the areas of constitutional law and civil rights litigation. Read Tom's reviews on AVVO. Follow Tom on Linkedin.

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