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Late Motion Denies Career Criminal Sentencing Review

A panel of federal judges say an Illinois man must serve more than 21 years in jail after affirming calculations in a 2010 plea deal that won him a reduced sentence were properly made. James Hanson argued he shouldn’t be saddled with a career-offender enhancement, even as felony priors were omitted for the purpose of setting his jail term on a raft of drug charges. Hanson hung his appeal on a miscarriage of justice claim based on the district court’s subsequent denial of a collateral challenge that he filed after the statute of limitations to do so had run out.

pre-sentence investigation classed as a violent crime a Kentucky burglary conviction that occurred prior to the six-year sting that saw Hanson charged in a Southern Illinois methamphetamine ring. However, his challenge came by the time the one-year window had closed to protest the 262-monnth minimum. Hanson cited the US Supreme Court’s 2016 Mathis ruling as offering him room for retroactive application. Appellate judges in the 7th Circuit disagreed, saying a change would not have produce the extraordinary circumstances demanded by case law to reverse the lower court’s decision.