Cases & Deals

Carlos Rashad Gould's criminal sentencing appeal is argued before U.S. Supreme Court

Client(s) Gould, Carlos Rashad

Jones Day Dallas partner David Horan, assisted by Dallas associate Paul F. Theiss and Washington partner Greg Castanias, argued an appointed criminal appeal on behalf of federal inmate Carlos Rashad Gould to the Supreme Court on October 4, 2010, the opening day of the 2010 Term. Horan was originally appointed in 2007 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to handle Mr. Gould's original appeal of his sentence. Horan, assisted by Dallas associate Andrew Wirmani, succeeded in persuading the Court of Appeals to vacate Mr. Gould's sentence and remand for resentencing based on the erroneous application of an enhancement under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines for reckless endangerment during flight. Horan, assisted by Paul Theiss, handled Mr. Gould's resentencing, again on a Criminal Justice Act appointment. The district court resentenced Mr. Gould to a lower sentence but rejected the argument that the five-year mandatory minimum sentence provided by 18 U.S.C. § 924(c)(1)(A) for Mr. Gould's conviction for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense does not apply where another count (here, Mr. Gould's other conviction for a predicate drug trafficking offense) carries a greater mandatory minimum sentence. On appeal from the resentencing proceeding, the Fifth Circuit—in conflict with decisions from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit—also rejected this argument and affirmed Mr. Gould's new sentence. The Supreme Court granted Jones Day's petition for writ of certiorari raising this issue, appointed Horan as Mr. Gould's counsel in that court, and set Mr. Gould's case for consolidated argument on October 4, 2010 with the appeal in Kevin Abbott v. United States, No. 09-479. Newly-appointed Justice Elena Kagan recused herself from the case due to her involvement in the matter on behalf of the United States in her prior position as Solicitor General. On November 15, 2010, the Court issued its decision, affirming the Fifth Circuit's judgment.

Gould v. U.S., U.S. Supreme Court, Case No. 09-7073 (consolidated with Abbott v. U.S., U.S. Supreme Court, Case No. 09-479)