There won’t be much “value added” in this post, as its purpose is to direct readers to Doug Berman’s post at Sentencing Law & Policy on the fiasco of Cesar Huerta Cantu. In that case, a typo, conceded by all, in the Guidelines calculations went unnoticed by all, including Cantu’s defense lawyer.
While this is not merely inexcusable, but frankly incomprehensible, it happened. When Cantu discovered the error, he sought to correct it via a §2255 petition, which the government opposed as untimely. The depth of disingenuousness of the government in this case is so low as to shake any confidence in prosecutorial discretion.
The more I reflect on the typo-correction sentence commutation of federal prisoner Cesar Huerta Cantu (basics here), and especially after re-reading this 2255 dismissal order that followed Cantu’s own effort to have a court fix its own significant sentencing error, the more disgusted I feel about the modern federal sentencing system and especially about the U.S. Department of Justice and those federal prosecutors most responsible for Cesar Cantu’s treatment by our Kafkaesque system.
Read Doug’s post, analysis and discussion. As a somewhat curious aside, Doug openly asks Wild Bill Otis, the patron saint of prosecutors, to offer some comfort in light of how the government treated a typo. As of this writing, Otis, a regular commenter at SL&P defending the right of government to lock away all the evil citizens, except those who deserve to die, has not been heard from.
Further, your affiant sayeth naught.