Byrne Legal Group Wins Reversal of Client’s Life Sentence in Federal Court

By Byrne Legal Group | Issue 11

Byrne Legal Group is pleased to announce that Attorney Davis Powell and paralegal Abby Wills recently won the reversal of a client’s life sentence in a federal criminal case pending before the Eastern District of Virginia. Legal assistant Deb White also played a major role assisting in the case. The client had been serving life in federal prison after being convicted in 2000 for his role in a 1997 drug conspiracy murder plot. Though the client was not the shooter, he was sentenced to an automatic life sentence due to the mandatory sentencing guidelines in place at the time. Paradoxically, the confessed shooter received only a ten year sentence.

Since his conviction, the client has reformed his life, and prison employees described him as a model inmate and a mentor to younger prisoners. Mr. Powell was court-appointed to represent the client in his claim for a reduced sentence under the First Step Act. The First Step Act is a bipartisan bill signed by President Trump in 2018. The Act makes a number of criminal justice reforms, including allowing certain defendants who were convicted under old drug sentencing regimes to petition for a reduced sentence. Mr. Powell argued that the client deserved a reduced sentence because of his limited role in the underlying crime and because of his reform since being incarcerated. The Court agreed, and reduced the client’s sentence from life in prison to 300 months. The client expects to be released from prison back to his family in early 2021.

Though different than the majority of our cases, the Byrne Legal Group was pleased to be involved in this unique case and is proud of the result. As attorneys, our mandate is to seek justice for our clients, and we are pleased to have played a role in delivering this just result.

Legal Disclaimer. The Virginia State Bar Rules of Professional Conduct require all attorneys to make the following statement and disclaimer when sharing case results.  Case outcomes, verdicts, and settlements in all cases depend on the specific factors and unique circumstances in each case. Therefore past results in cases are not a guarantee or prediction of a similar result in future cases handled by the Byrne Legal Group.