March 22, 2022

Judge Jackson: Tough on Law Enforcement, Not So Tough on Crime

When sentencing criminals with multiple convictions of assault against law enforcement, Judge Jackson repeatedly sentences defendants lower than the designated Sentencing Guidelines range. 

Judge Jackson sentenced a defendant who had been convicted of assaulting a police officer for a third time to a term below the guidelines and lower than what was requested by both the government and the defense counsel. 
  • In U.S. v. Jenkins, No. 14-cr-0003 (D.D.C), the defendant pleaded guilty to his third conviction of assaulting a law enforcement officer. 
  • The government requested the defendant be locked away for close to 30 months. The defendant requested 21 months. 
  • Judge Jackson sentenced the defendant to only 18 months
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    Judge Jackson sentenced an unregistered sex offender, who had multiple prior convictions including assaulting a police officer and sexual assault years against his 13-year old niece, to half of the term requested by the government. 
  • In U.S. v. Weekes, No. 13-cr-0187 (D.D.C.), the government requested a 24-month sentence, already at the low end of the advisory guideline range. 
  • The defendant had prior convictions including assault on a police officer, sexual assault on a minor, forgery, larceny and false identification to police. 
  • Despite his lengthy criminal history, Judge Jackson sentenced him to a term of 12 months, half of what was originally requested, and below the sentencing guidelines. 
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    Judge Jackson disregarded defendant’s dangerous criminal record and sentenced him to the low end of the recommended time. 
  • In U.S. v. Adams, No.13-cr-0261 (D.D.C.), the government requested a 39-month sentence for a defendant who pleaded guilty to illegally selling drugs and guns
  • The defendant had a loaded criminal history including tampering with evidence, assault on a police officer, second degree theft and possession of a controlled substance. 
  • Judge Jackson sentenced the defendant to his requested term of 33 months. 
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    Although Judge Jackson acknowledged the danger a defendant created for the U.S. military after he illegally sent military equipment to Hong Kong, she gave a significantly reduced sentence. 
  • In U.S. v. Koyshman, No. 19–cr-0267 (D.D.C.), the government requested a 52-month sentence for a defendant who pleaded guilty to illegally sending night vision goggles and handheld radios overseas, potentially endangering the lives of military personnel and compromising U.S. military intelligence.  
  • The recommended sentence was at the midpoint of the sentencing guidelines range. 
  • Though she notes that “such crimes unquestionably warrant significant punishment,” Judge Jackson sentenced him to 12 months and one day. 
  • Before serving as a judge, Judge Jackson represented a criminal who was convicted of assaulting a federal prosecutor with a hammer and who later had his supervised release revoked after refusing to participate in court-ordered mental-health evaluation. 
  • Judge Jackson argued that the defendant’s supervisory release should not have been linked to participation in the mental-health evaluation. The D.C. Circuit found that Judge Jackson’s claim had “no merit” and was “amply refuted by the hearing transcript.” 
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    On the flip side, Judge Jackson is harsh toward law enforcement facing lawsuits. 
  • In Patterson v. U.S., 999 F. Supp. 2d 300 (D.D.C. 2013), Judge Jackson denied officers’ motions to dismiss a plaintiff’s Bivens claims when he directed his profanity at a public protest toward the police. She denied qualified immunity. 
  • In Robinson v. Farley, 264 F. Suppl. 3d 154 (D.D.C. 2017), Judge Jackson denied the officer’s motion to dismiss the case even after the plaintiff could not identify the 39 police officers he was accusing of excessive force. 
  • While sentencing known criminals to shortened time served, Judge Jackson harshly punishes law enforcement for first-time charges. 
  • In U.S. v. Fleming, No. 14–cr-0217, ECF No. 22 at n.2 (2015), Fleming worked as a correctional officer who was caught smuggling contraband like cell phones and cigarettes to inmates.
  • Despite rejecting career offender enhancement in a number of cases, (U.S. v. Hall, U.S. v. Dunlap, U.S. v. Murphy), Judge Jackson accepted arguments to enhance Fleming’s sentence to 27 months.