Rainwater Law Group

Effective Criminal Defense

United States v. Swisher, No. 11-35796 [January 11, 2016]

United States v. Swisher

En banc opinion on a §2255 habeas petition reversing the denial and holding that the reasoning in United States v. Alvarez, 132 S. Ct. 2357 (2012), invalidating on First Amendment grounds a statute prohibiting lying about being awarded military medals, also applied to 18 U.S.C. § 704(a), a provision of the Stolen Valor Act that previously criminalized the unauthorized wearing of such medals. (the statute was subsequently amended to remove the “wearing” language) The en banc Court overruled its previously contrary decision in United States v. Perelman. The court further held that the Alvarez decision applies retroactively because it was a decision holding that a substantive federal statute did not reach certain conduct. The government waived the procedural default defense that Swisher had failed to raise his claims at trial or on direct appeal

blog comments powered by Disqus