Cases & Deals

Federal inmate represented in various federal court proceedings on amendment of habeas petition and resentencing

Client(s) Valentine, Jimmy Ray

Attorneys from Jones Day's Washington Office represent on a pro bono basis a federal inmate, Jimmy Ray Valentine, in a resentencing proceeding based on amendments to the United States Sentencing Guidelines for drug offenses. Briefing in Mr. Valentine's resentencing proceeding is expected to be scheduled for 2010. Jones Day's representation of Mr. Valentine began in 2005 with his appeal to the Sixth Circuit in a habeas matter. In that appeal, which was decided May 14, 2007, Jones Day succeeded in obtaining a remand for an evidentiary hearing on whether trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance in failing to communicate Mr. Valentine's acceptance of a plea offer from the government. In addition, in a strongly worded dissent, Judge Martin would have granted relief to Mr. Valentine on his challenge to his sentence under United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220 (2005), which held that sentences above the federal guidelines' maximum be based on facts found by a jury beyond a reasonable doubt (or admitted by the defendant). Crucial facts used to enhance Mr. Valentine's sentence were not established in these ways. Judge Martin took the view that Booker applies on collateral review because it is not a new rule but rather merely an application of prior Supreme Court precedent (Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (2000)). Further, Judge Martin highlighted the significant, practical consequences of resentencing in this case. Mr. Valentine's current sentence is at least four years, and as much as twenty-three years, longer than his maximum sentence would be under Booker. Moreover, although the panel majority held that Booker announced a new rule of criminal procedure after Valentine's conviction because final, and thus did not apply on collateral review, the majority acknowledged that "[w]ere Booker applicable," Mr. Valentine stated "cognizable Booker claims entitling [him] to resentencing." Jones Day filed a petition for a writ of certiorari on the Booker issue, but the petition was denied.

Jennifer Swize drafted the briefs and argued the case before the Sixth Circuit, under the guidance of Larry Rosenberg.

Valentine v. United States, No. 04-2116 (6th Cir.)