10th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinions for August 27

by Tony Flesor

U.S. v. Miles
Aug. 29

Giavanni Miles pleaded guilty to two counts of theft of firearms. He was sentenced to serve two concurrent 70-month terms in prison.

Part of his plea agreement was to waive his rights to appeal unless it met one of three criteria. The first being the sentence exceeds the maximum penalty in the statute of conviction. Second, if the sentence is more than the advisory guideline range. The final criterion was if the government appeals the sentence resulting from trial. Miles appealed his case.

The government motioned to dismiss the appeal. Before the court ruled on the matter, it looked at three issues. First if the appeal was within the scope of the waiver Miles agreed to. Second, if Miles purposefully and willingly waived his rights. And finally the court looked at whether enforcing the waiver was a miscarriage of justice.

Miles argued that the government did not also agree to the waiver as they would any other contract. The court upheld that argument and the government dismissed two of the four indictment counts. Miles did not contend the waiver was unknowing. Miles asked the court to dismiss the appeal to pursue relief in district court regarding his ineffective counsel when negotiating his plea. While the court did grant the government’s motion and dismissed the appeal, it wasn’t because of this request.

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the September 3, 2018 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.