Tuesday, December 24, 2013

United States v. Xulam case brief

United States v. Xulam case brief summary
84 F.3d 441 (1996)

Defendant was charged with making a false statement in a passport application. Under the Bail Reform Act of 1984 (Act), 18 U.S.C.S. § 3142, a United States district court issued an order of detention pending trial. Defendant appealed.

Defendant, a Kurd from Turkey, had been an international human rights worker residing in the District of Columbia for over three years. After arriving here from Canada on a temporary student visa, defendant allegedly applied for and obtained an American passport under a false name. Although he had no criminal record, defendant was charged with a nonviolent criminal offense that had a maximum sentence of six months under the federal sentencing guidelines.

Conceding that defendant posed no danger to the community or any of its citizens, the district court nevertheless ordered his detention pending trial solely on the ground that he was a flight risk.

The court revoked the detention order, holding that defendant was a prime candidate for release under the Act because the relevant factors pointed to the existence of many conditions that would reasonably assure his appearance at trial.


  • The court stated that the government failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that defendant posed a risk of flight. 
  • Finally, the court noted that the Act spoke of conditions that would "reasonably" assure appearance, not guarantee it.

The court revoked the district court's order of detention.

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