- Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
- Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
- Date Filed: 11-17-2022
- Case #: 21-10070
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Forrest, J. for the Court; Hawkins, J.; Nelson, J.
- Full Text Opinion
After entering into a plea agreement, Petitioner was sentenced to 120 months in prison and then Petitioner would be under a five year supervised release so long as Petitioner participated in the required conditions of substance abuse and mental health treatment that their probation officer supervised. Although Petitioner waived her right to appeal by entering into the plea agreement, Petitioner appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing that her waiver does not apply as the treatment conditions of her supervised release are unlawful as it gives the probation officer authority to determine the punishment for Petitioner. A nonjudicial officer "may not decide the nature or extent of the punishment imposed upon a probationer...since under our constitutional system the right to impose the punishment provided by law is judicial. United States v Stephens, 424 F.3d 876, 881 (9th Cir. 2005).The Court held that the district court committed plain error in delegating authority to the probation officer to have discretion over whether Petitioner is required to have inpatient or outpatient treatment. The Court reasoned that the district court gave the probation officer discretion over “the location, modality, and intensity of the treatment” and a determination of the treatment is a determination of the extent and nature of punishment, which is something that a probation officer is not able to have authority to do as that is only within the powers of the judiciary. The Court vacated Petitioner’s substance abuse and mental health treatment conditions and remanded for resentencing.