Monday, January 11, 2016

"Not many people want to be locked up in a federal penitentiary serving a life sentence." (UPDATED)

But Harlan Salmona does, according to this opinion by Chief Judge Carnes.  The intro:
Not many people want to be locked up in a federal penitentiary serving a life sentence. Harlan Salmona does because it beats the alternative, which is being locked up in a state penitentiary that he believes is less safe. The problem for Salmona is that his life sentence was imposed by a Florida state court, not by a federal court. Salmona claims that because of a promise made to him by the United States Attorney’s Office in a long ago plea agreement the federal government is required to get him transferred from state to federal custody for the remainder of his state sentence. This is his appeal from the district court’s order denying his “Motion to Compel Compliance” with that plea agreement.

The conclusion:
Because the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over Salmona’s claim, its judgment is VACATED and the case is REMANDED with instructions to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction.
UPDATE -- from a tipster: The back story on him is fascinating. He is ex U.S. Coast Guard who was arrested by Feds for drug smuggling. He then decided to work off his case by informing on the marijuana organization he worked with. The Government indicted members of the organization based upon the anticipated testimony of Salmona and another informant.  Salmona then murdered the other Government informant in order to enhance his importance to the Government and become the sole key witness.  His state sentence of life was for that murder.

Meantime, it's CJA day at the federal courthouse.  Here's the live-stream of the committee hearings if you are interested.

No comments: