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February 2, 2010

Backstory on the Gould mandatory minimum case recently taken up by SCOTUS

Gehrig A helpful readers forwarded to me this new Texas Lawyer story headlined "Gunning For a Mandatory Minimum," which provides the background and backstory concerning the Supreme Court's recent cert grant in a case involving the application of an important federal mandatory minimum statute.  Here is how the piece starts:

Carlos Rashad Gould may be the luckiest federal inmate in the state of Texas.  Few indigent prisoners have a team of expensive, big-firm civil lawyers working pro bono on their appeals, as Gould does.  Still fewer get their cases heard at the U.S. Supreme Court, as Gould learned on Jan. 25 that he would when the high court granted his petition for writ of certiorari.

Gould's cert writ in Gould v. United States stems from a 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision that involves the most common type of case decided by that court: a defendant's appeal of a trial court's sentencing decision. [See Gould's Petition for Writ of Certiorari.]

"To have it go up on a valid cert petition and one that gets granted, Mr. Gould's case has had a pretty unusual life in the appellate courts," says David Horan, a partner in the Dallas office of Jones Day who the 5th Circuit appointed to represent Gould in 2007.

At the Supreme Court, Gould's case has been consolidated with a 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals case, Abbott v. United States.  If Gould and Kevin Abbott win at the high court, their cases could shave several years off the prison sentences of countless inmates convicted of carrying firearms in the commission of crimes of violence or drug trafficking.

The relevant statute, 18 U.S.C. §924(c)(1)(A), provides mandatory minimum sentences for defendants convicted of carrying firearms while committing crimes of violence or drug trafficking crimes.  The issue in Gould and Abbott involves statutory interpretation: Does the mandatory minimum sentence in §924(c) apply when a defendant is convicted of a related crime that carries a higher mandatory minimum sentence?

Gould and Abbott argue in their cert petitions that the answer is "no."  While an opinion from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals comes to that conclusion, rulings in the 5th Circuit and 3rd Circuit do not.

Though I would not describe being "the luckiest federal inmate in the state of Texas" as a Lou Gehrig type accomplishment, I do suspect that a good number of fellow federal inmates will be watching the Gould case closely and will be hoping that Carlos Rashad Gould's lawyers hit a grand slam when they step up to the SCOTUS oral argument plate in a few months.  (Is it obviously I am already eager for the start of spring training?)

February 2, 2010 at 02:43 PM | Permalink

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Well this does not sit well with me. If this is Carlos Gould of Wichita Falls TX, then this is a shame. He happens to be my very separated husband who is only pretending to be a victim of a unnecessarry sentence. I think he deserves everyday they sentenced him to. Did he mention that he and the guy he got caught with had been runnin that house for over 8 years?? And that he told on the other guy to avoid a life sentence? Was it shown that there was a police stand-off with him for 4 hours over him beating me and pointing an AK-47 in my face? Did he state that he has never held a legal job and that he's been a drug dealer since he was 14? He was not the muscle, he was the mastermind. Did he mention that he is a woman beater?? Did he mention the numerous times I have asked him for a divorce and him not give me one?? Since I am the single parent of his children I cannot afford the divorce, it would be cheaper for him to do it from prison and he refuses. How can the US government allow people like him to put up these facades of being victims? Maybe if they consult the people they have hurt, then the government would stop playing these appeal games with monsters. P.S If you talk to him regulary or are really his lawyer then you can tell him for the millionth time I WANT A DIVORCE!!!

Posted by: L. Gould | Feb 20, 2010 8:22:24 AM

I do believe the drug sentencing laws are extremely excessive and that offenders without prior records should be shown leniency. i feel that it is a waste of tax dollars to house these offenders simply because of one bad life choice. Sex offenders and child molesters gets lesser sentences than first time drug or weapons offenders. It is truly sad. As for Mr. Gould my anger with him should not affect the outcome of his appeal. Although I do feel that he should pay for his crimes, I do not feel 22 years in prison will change him any. I feel that a rehabilitative approach should be taken. He hasn't lived a normal life since birth. I feel he should be taught the proper work and social skills that are needed to become a lawful, successful member of society. Counseling will also help him as well. I feel he can make a new life for himself somwhere else, with someone else and start over cleanly. Hopefully this appeal will place him somewhere where he can learn to be a better person, not learn to be a smarter more cunning criminal, like in a prison.

Posted by: Gould | Feb 20, 2010 12:15:10 PM

I think this is awesome! I am a 2nd year law student at SMU in Dallas and am assisting an attorney with a case for a federal inmate who was sentenced to life plus 5 years as a first time non violent offender at the age of 23. (Under the current federal laws for crack cocaine). The inmate's life sentence was reduced in December 2009 to 27 years however the plus 5 still stands for the gun charge. If the SC rules favorably for Gould this will be a victory for this inmate as well! He would then only hope for a 1:1 ratio for crack/powder cocaine sentences which would give him an even lessor sentence and a second chance at life! P.S. Had this inmate possessed the same amount of powder cocaine than crack cocaine, his sentence would have ranged from 11-14 years as opposed to life. But that is a topic for another blog post ;)

Posted by: Brittany | Feb 25, 2010 5:42:42 PM

i dont even really know how to start this but i will find a way. Alot has taken place in my life, some good and some bad!! The "old" me would of outweighed the bad over the good and I would of been making excuses and pointing fingers to everyone else instead of myself for why these things occured in my life. However at this time and moment in my life I look at things very differently. From time to time I reflect on the things I went through and I can see that it all brought me to this place I'm at right now. Over 9 months ago I have to admit that it was the roughest time in mine and my son's life. Everything that you could imagine that could happen, happened!! I was jobless, which meant I had no means to take care of my son the right way, i was forced out of my house, which resulted in us being homeless and to top it all off I had Child Protected Services all in my life. At the time I was angry and didnt want to be bothered with nothing, but little did I know that all of these problems that I was dealing with was a BLESSING in disguise!! While I was going through all this I came across a woman, who now is my mother-n-law, and I was asking about her son. I never even spoke two words to this man and for some reason I was interested in how he was doing. After speaking to this woman I ended up getting in contact with her son ( My HUSBAND) and we started keeping in touch via mail. I never intended for my life to change in the way it did but GOD had another plan for me. The man who I was keeping in touch with was telling about how GOD has blessed him and has brought him along way, after listening and becoming more interested in this I did what he suggested and went and got me and my son SAVED AND BAPTISED!! We became members of a church and everyday little by little I seen so many drastic changes in our life. Now in my life "that man" is no longer just any man, he is now my husband and the other part of me that completes me and makes me who I am supposed to be and was meant to be all along. The crazy part about the whole situation is that I never not for one minute thought about GOD when I was going "crazy" and he allowed someone to come into my life and provide me with the "tools" I needed to become and remain who I am today. I have come so far and I am and have remained very blessed, not only from the things I have changed but from one person, well two but all the credit goes to GOD!! By him sending Carlos into my life and giving him the words and inspiring him to reach out to me I was able to get it together and get my life back, not the old life but my new life that I have in CHRIST JESUS. Everyday I make sure that I thank God and give him all the credit for delivering me from such a horrific lifesyle and for me being able to provide for my son and becoming a better person. I try to be very optimistic about everything and look for the positive in everything versus the negative. I try not to speak things into exestince. My husband gets on me for that. "Woman, do you know how GOD created the earth? He spoke it" So i use that on a daily. I still have a long journey ahead of me and I always keep in mind the difference from now and then is: THEN I WAS DOING IT WITHOUT GOD AND I WASN'T GETTING NOWHERE, AND TODAY I CAN DO ANYTHING THROUGH CHRIST JESUS WHO STRENGHTENS ME!!! GOD HAS OPENED DOORS FOR ME AND MY FAMILY THAT NO MAN OR DEVIL CAN EVER CLOSE AND HE HAS CLOSED DOORS THAT CANT BE OPENED, BUT THE ULTIMATE GIFT HE HAS GIVEN ME IS THE REASSURANCE OF ETERNAL LIFE WITH HIM IN HEAVEN FOREVER. ```` THIS IS MY TESTIMONY```` IN REGARDS TO THE FIRST PREVIOUS COMMENTS, I DONT UNDERSTAND HOW SOMEONE CAN SPEAK SO NEGATIVE ABOUT SUCH A SUPERIOR PERSON AS CARLOS RASHAD GOULD!!! EVERYONE MAKES MISTAKES AND FROM MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH MR. GOULD ALL THE REMARKS MADE ABOUT HIM SOUND TOTALLY RIDICULOUS!!! IT IS ONLY BECAUSE OF HIM THAT I WAS ABLE TO MOVE FORWARD AND CHANGE MY LIFE AND START A NEW LIFE, HOW SOMEONE COULD SPEAK SO BAD ABOUT SOMEONE SO 'PERFECT" BLOWS MY MIND AND MAKES ME QUESTION THEIR SANITY. MY TESTIMONY SPEAKS FOR ITSELF...

Posted by: NIKKI GOULD | Mar 7, 2010 1:45:40 AM

I am writing on behalf of Carlos Gould; I am his aunt. I think that the Supreme Court's decision to hear Carlos's case is phenomenal news. Our family is very encouraged. Carlos is a fantastic father, son, grandson, and nephew. He is the heart of this family, and nothing would make us a happier than to see him get a second chance. I would also like to thank these very generous and courageous attorneys who are working so hard on his behalf. They are a God Send. Our family is praying for them. Carlos, your mother has told me how well you are learning and trying to educate and prepare yourself during this time; and I am very proud of you for that. I always knew that there was a very special young man in there just waiting to come out, and the fact that you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour makes everything concerning you so much sweeter. Remember that we Love You, and will be praying for you,and with you every step of the way. Love you!

Posted by: B. Williams | Mar 8, 2010 6:04:40 PM

THE PROOF OF HOW GREAT HE IS IN IN NUMEROUS POLICE FILES AND HOSPITAL RECORDS OF HOW HE FRACTURED NUMEROUS BONES OF MINE.PLEASE ASK HIS WONDERFUL AND FREE LAWYERS TO PROVIDE HIM WITH A DIVORCE FROM THE MOTHER OF HIS CHILDREN!!! I HAVE BEEN SUPPORTING AND TAKING CARE OF THEM BY MYSELF. HE WORKS IN PRISON AND HAS HIS MOM,GIRLFRIEND AND OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS SENDING HIM TONS OF MONEY BUT HE STILL WON'T DIVORCE ME. IF HE WAS SO AWESOME HOW DID HE END UP IN PRISON AGAIN...FOR THE 3RD TIME?! ISN'T THERE A THREE STRIKES LAW HERE?? NIKKI PLEASE ASK YOUR MAN IF HE REALLY WANTED TO BE WITH YOU..WHY HASN'T HE DIVORCED HIS WIFE YET?? IT'S BEEN FIVE YEARS..COME ON!! DO I NEED TO SEE HOW THE OTHER SIDE CAN HELP ME OR WILL HIS WONDERFUL AND FREE LAWYERS DIVORCE US SO THAT STEP DOESN'T HAVE TO BE TAKEN. I HAVE EVERY POLICE REPORT, PICTURE, LETTER AND OFFICIAL DOCUMENT THAT COULD HELP EITHER SIDE...I HELP WHOEVER GETS ME MY DIVORCE

Posted by: L. Gould | Apr 4, 2010 10:47:45 AM

This long-established surname, with variant spellings Gould, Goult and Gold, is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and has two possible sources. Firstly, it may be from a personal name or nickname, derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century "Golda"(masculine), or "Golde"(feminine), meaning "gold", originally given to one with bright golden hair, or perhaps in some cases to a "precious" person.

Posted by: viagra online | Apr 22, 2010 2:44:17 PM

1ST OFF I JUST WANTED TO SAY TO THE TWO WOMEN ON HERE LEAVING MESSAGE'S AND COMMENTS ON THIS SITE, REALLY NEEDS TO STOP. (LASHONDA AND NIKKI) I REALLY HOPE EITHER ONE OF YOU DONT BELIVE THAT HE'S COMING HOME TO YALL WHEN HE WINS THIS CASE. WELL LASHONDA HE TOLD ME THAT HE NO LONGER SPEAKS WITH YOU. BUT NIKKI HE NOT GOING TO WIFE YOU, THATS MY SPOT. HE GOT IN CONTACT WITH YOU THREW HIS MOTHER BECAUSE HE NEEDED SOME EXTRA MONEY. AND THEN HE GOT YOU TO BELIVE THAT HE LOVED YOU SO THAT YOU WOULD PAY FOR HIS DIVORCE. AND THEN HE WOULD LEAVE YOU ALONE AND WIFE ME. I THOUGHT U HAD A RIGHT TO KNOW THAT NOW THAT YOU HAVE PAIED FOR THE DIVORCE. THANKS GIRL. MRS. CASANDRA GOULD

Posted by: HIS WIFE | May 2, 2010 2:56:25 PM

MRS CASANDRA "GOULD", I HOPE THAT U DONT THINK THAT I REALLY PAID FOR ANYTHING...AHHHH...AND WHATEVER HE MAY TELL YOU THAT'S WUT THAT IS...I AINT WORRIED ABOUT MR GOULD...THAT IS FOR U AND HIS STILL TODAY WIFE LASHONDA TO DO...AND WHEN HE GETS OUT LETS C WHO HE MAKES WIFEY...IT WONT B ME NOT B/C OF HIS CHOICE BUT B/C OF MINE...DONT GET IT TWISTED...IT WONT B U EITHER...HE STILL IS AND WILL B LEGALLY MARRIED TO SHONDA GOULD UNTIL SHE FILES FOR THE DIVORCE...AND FUTHERMORE HE DIDNT GET ME TO BELIEVE IN NOTHING EXCEPT THE FATHER IN HEAVEN...LAME ASS BROAD.. GET IT TOGETHER!!!!THE LORD SAYS U WILL B BLESSED FOR HELPIN THOSE IN NEED, NUTT'N MORE NUTT'N LESS!!! SO Y U PLAYIN "WHO'S CARLOS' WIFE" ON THIS WEBSITE, U REALLY NEED TO GROW UP AND GET READY FOR "UR" HUSBAND TO COME HOME...LMMAO!! THIS AINT HIS FIRST RODEO SWEETIE AND HE AINT NEW TO THIS JAIL HOUSE TALK...U JUST GET UR MONEY UP AND DO U...CUZ BEST BELIEVE WE DOIN US...RUN AND TELL THAT LIKE MARTIN SAY.... HOLD UR HEAD UP LOS... :)

Posted by: nikki | May 6, 2010 5:57:32 PM

OH YEAH ONE MORE THING...FACTS SWEETIE...ALL FACTS...CAN U SPELL IT...F.A.C.T.S.? THE REAL DEAL INFORMATION THAT IS TOLD...AND U HAVE BEEN TOLD FICTION...I NEVER KNEW HIS MOTHER B4 I SEEN HER, HE NEVER GOT IN TOUCH WITH ME...NOR HAS HE EVER ASKED ME FOR ANYTHING, STEP IT UP WOMAN, DONT U KNO UR MAN? HE AINT GONNA ASK FOR ANYTHING FROM ANYONE...NEVER!!!HE IS A BOSS OR DID U FAIL TO REALIZE THAT? R U EVEN SURE U CAN HANDLE A MAN LIKE THAT? I'M A TELL U WHAT HE TOLD ME..."GET TO KNO UR MAN!!" 4*X EQUALS L7 (LAME) THERE IS NO NEED TO RESPOND TO THIS MESSAGE EITHER, IT'S A WRAP... THE MOVIE HAS BEEN BOUGHT, PLAYED AND HAS UNFORTUNATELY CAME TO AN END...BUT ON SOME REAL DEAL HOLYFIELD TALK I HOPE THAT U AND LOS R FOREVER HAPPILY IN LOVE AND THAT AFTER U PAY FOR THE DIVORCE THAT YALL CAN BE HAPPILY MARRIED!!

Posted by: nikki | May 6, 2010 6:05:54 PM

AND HE LIKES EDUCATED WOMAN WHO CAN SPELL... AND I BET IF HE KNEW THAT U POSTED THIS COMMENT HE WOULD GET RIGHT ON UR COOLOW!!!! U A LAME BREEZIE, AND FROM THE SOUNDS OF IT U DONT EVEN SOUND LIKE HIS TYPE...U WEBSITE BUMPER...GET ON MY LEVEL, THEN HOLLA AT ME AND SHONDA WITH THIS MESS, NEITHER ONE OF US R WORRIED BOUT UR "HUSBAND" SWEETIE...GET IT TOGETHER..

Posted by: nikki | May 6, 2010 11:31:30 PM

i knew it was sumthing funny going on about this whole situation!!! Now days u cant tell if the man's girl or momma is more obsessed with the man... cum on ladies tighten up!! this man is doing time...along time and there are still bitches n the free world fussing over this man...wut type of shit is that? yall ladies need to step it up and get off this man...there are so many men in the "not locked" up world and yall trippin behind this one!!!

Posted by: disgusted | May 20, 2010 2:54:03 PM

Carlos,
I am so proud of you! You are a very smart, intelligent, handsome, strong man. I thank God for bringing you into this world. I thank God that you are my son. I thank God for being there with you through all of this. I agree with you, You and I both been through some pretty rough times, but God has always been there for us. God has brought us closer, and kept us together as a family. I am so proud of you for taking advantage of the education, and Training/Skills while you await your time. You got your G.E.D. and several certifications in Business/Management, all while incarcerated. I am so very sorry that you weren't able to stay in school, play football, and graduate. You and I both have been through the Tribes and Tribulation...God has forgiven us. God have blessed us in so many ways. God has turned both of our lifes around, and renewed a steadfast sprit in us. You planted a seed to grow. It is not only growing, it is making you "GLOW" for the world to see. You have also shown the world that no ones perfect. Even though sometimes we make mistakes in our life, there is a God, and a person can be "REHABILITATED" by working hard, trusting in "GOD" and seeking help to do "The Right Thing" through Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior...I am trying to hold back my "Tears" before they were "Tears Of Pain", now they are "Tears Of Joy". Carlos, your case is now in the hands of "The Supreme Court" to review and make a "Decision". It is a "Blessing" alone that your case made it to "The Supreme Court". We all are praying that the judge will rule in your favor, and You and Your Attorney's win this case. "I PRAY TO GOD THAT YOUR CASE WILL BE DISMISS", AND, "THAT YOU WILL BE RELEASED TODAY." "I PRAY TO GOD THAT YOU WILL BE KNOCKING ON MY DOOR, AND GRANNY'S DOOR REAL SOON." "I PRAY TO GOD THAT THEY WILL UNLOCK THOSE PRISON DOORS, AND SET YOU FREE." "TO FLY AWAY FROM THAT PLACE AND NEVER LOOK BACK NEVER AGAIN". "I PRAY THIS IN JESUS NAME, AMEN"... Carlos, We Love You Very Much, Keep Your Faith And Trust In GOD... See You Soon...

Love,

Mama, Granny, Jace, and Your Kids...

P.S. "Hurry home so you can get your "PARALEGAL DEGREE" and help others in this situation..."

Thank You.

Posted by: Carol Gould | May 24, 2010 11:52:15 PM

So much for not airing your dirty laundry....Geez Ladies!

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Posted by: viagra | Nov 1, 2010 7:59:35 AM

You know what I don't really care about any of this I JUST WANT A DIVORCE!!! Cassandra you CAN HAVE HIM!!! Of course I don't talk to him anymore why in the hell would I?? I don't want to even know that he exists...and if he love you so much then why won't he divorce me??? It would only cOst him 4 DOLLARS!!!! Ask him that!! I not only DO NOT LOVE HIM I DON'T EVEN LIKE HIM AS A HUMAN BEING!!! Damn...I've been asking him to divorce me for YEARS!!!!!! PLEASE PLEASE CONVINCE HIM TO DIVORCE ME SO YOU GUYS CAN REALLY BE TOGETHER INSTEAD OF YOU JUST BEING HIS ATM! i'VE ASKED HIS MAMA AND EVERYBODY TO ASK HIM TO DIVORCE ME...HE REFUSES. I can really tell he wants to be with you lol

Posted by: LASHANDA gOULD | Jan 23, 2011 7:21:47 PM

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