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Home / Opinion / 10-1574 Gant v. U.S.

10-1574 Gant v. U.S.

Firearms
Felon in possession of a firearm; restoration of civil rights

Where a defendant’s documents purporting to restore his civil rights were inauthentic, it was not ineffective assistance of counsel for his appellate attorney to not challenge the conviction on this ground.
“Gant’s evidence of actual receipt was shaky at best. While Gant claimed that he received one letter, he produced multiple versions of this letter, all of which were inconsistent and contained errors that led the Department of Corrections employee to conclude that they were inauthentic. By producing inauthentic (and possibly fraudulent) letters, Gant damaged his credibility, making his later testimony that he received a letter suspect. Inconsistencies between his testimony and Rodriguez’s testimony further undermined his credibility. Moreover, while the Department employee testified that standard practice was to send a restoration letter after parole was complete, the employee could not verify that a letter was actually dispatched and received. Gant’s damaged credibility and the weakness of his evidence led the district court to conclude that he failed to show receipt of a notice, and we see no clear error in this finding. Since Gant did not meet his burden, his ACC classification stands and his ineffective assistance claim falls for want of prejudice. See Strickland, 466 U.S. at 697.”

Affirmed.

10-1574 Gant v. U.S.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois, McCuskey, J., Kanne, J.

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