Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Young Gun Jason Desiderio Overturns Calvin Eugene Wells Sentence

Typos are not always bad. Sometimes, they actually can benefit a defendant. For example, Calvin Eugene Wells of Akron was sentenced to ten years in prison back in October 2005 after being found guilty of possessing more than 100 grams of cocaine (first-degree felony.)
Ten years was the appropriate sentence if he possessed 100 or more grams of cocaine. However, while serving time, Wells discovered a stray word on the verdict form. The form read:
"We, the Jury, find the Defendant Guilty of the offense of POSSESSION OF CRACK COCAINE. We, the jury, further find that the amount of crack cocaine WAS in the amount exceeding ten one hundred (100) grams as charged in the indictment."
The word "ten" is extraneous and changes the meaning of the juries finding.Wells told his attorneys of the error, but no one was able to reduce his sentence until he was represented by Jason Desiderio. Desiderio was shocked that the previous attorneys did not help Wells get a reduced sentence.

Under Ohio law, the jury form must state either the degree of the offense or the circumstances that would make it a higher offense in order for an enhanced sentence. A three-judge panel of the Ohio Court of Appeals unanimously agreed with Desiderio: "The form is unclear, and we cannot determine what the jury understood 'ten one hundred (100) grams' to mean. It certainly could have meant an amount exceeding one hundred grams, but it is possible that the jury believed the form actually meant an amount exceeding less than one gram." (Judge Eve Belfance written opinion.)

Consequently, Wells should not have been convicted of anything more than a fifth-degree felony. Thus the maximum sentence for a fifth-degree felony is one year. (Wells already had served four.) Unfortunately for Wells, he was wanted in Morris County, New Jersey, on a November 2000 sheriff's warrant for violating his probation for drug and weapons convictions. Extradition is being sought in New Jersey. Unfortunately for Wells, Desiderio is not licensed in New Jersey.
That is probably good news for the prosecution, because Desierio is on his way to becoming the Clarence Darrow of this decade.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good job Jason.

Anonymous said...

A new hero

Jacqueline said...

Jason,
The Hall's of Justice are very unpridictable at time's. I'm sure Eugene Wells is gratefull you are so well at going over all the transcript's of his case!
Hard work pay's off!
God Bless, Jackie Howell

Ms Calabaza said...

Good for Desiderio! Does anyone have his number?

Anonymous said...

Atta boy Jason!

You deserve the good publicity!

S.M. said...

Jason is a lawyer for the people!

Congrats Jason.

S.M.

katfish said...

Sounds to me like Wells is the one who found the descrepancy in the verdict form. Jason Desiderio had the good sense to pay attention to what his client had found and bring it to the court's attention.
Hopefully Wells will take advantage of this opportunity for early release and leave the crack alone!

Anonymous said...

Jason succeeded to convince the reviewing court when others had failed.

Don't under estimate his achievement. He is truly young gun of the month!

Anonymous said...

Jason is a cool cat.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Desiderio rules!

Anonymous said...

Cool cat