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United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.

UNITED STATES of America, Appellee, v. Chadrick HALL, aka Sealed Defendant 1, Defendant-Appellant.


Decided: April 23, 2021

PRESENT: DENNY CHIN, MICHAEL H. PARK, Circuit Judges, VICTOR A. BOLDEN, District Judge.* FOR APPELLEE: NI QIAN, Assistant United States Attorney (Danielle R. Sassoon, Assistant United States Attorney, on the brief), for Audrey Strauss, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, New York, New York. FOR DEFENDANT-APPELLANT: PATRICK J. JOYCE, Law Office of Patrick J. Joyce, New York, New York.


Defendant-Appellant Chadrick Hall appeals from a judgment entered March 3, 2020, following a jury trial, convicting him of distribution and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(b)(1)(c), 846. On March 3, 2020, the district court sentenced Hall principally to 18 months' imprisonment and three years' supervised release. On appeal, Hall challenges only the procedural reasonableness of his sentence, arguing that the district court erred by considering as relevant conduct his possession of 2.7 grams of crack cocaine and a firearm some weeks prior to his arrest for the offense of conviction. We assume the parties' familiarity with the underlying facts, the procedural history of the case, and the issues on appeal.

During the course of this appeal, Hall completed his term of incarceration and was released from prison on November 10, 2020. He is currently serving a three-year term of supervised release.

“A case becomes moot when it no longer satisfies the 'case-or-controversy' requirement of Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution. In order to satisfy the case-or-controversy requirement, a party must, at all stages of the litigation, have an actual injury which is likely to be redressed by a favorable judicial decision.” United States v. Williams, 475 F.3d 468, 478-79 (2d Cir. 2007) (internal quotation marks omitted).

“An appellate challenge to a criminal sentence is rendered moot when the defendant has been released from prison and when there is either no possibility or only a remote and speculative possibility that the district court could or would impose a reduced term of supervised release were we to remand for resentencing.” United States v. Key, 602 F.3d 492, 494 (2d Cir. 2010) (internal quotation marks and alterations omitted).

Here, Hall has completed his term of imprisonment and has been released. Moreover, there is no possibility that the district court could or would impose a reduced term of supervised release upon remand, as the district court sentenced Hall to the statutory minimum of three years' supervised release. See 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(C). Consequently, this appeal is moot.

During oral argument, Hall argued for the first time that potential deportation proceedings based on his instant conviction amount to “an actual injury which is likely to be redressed by a favorable judicial decision.” Williams, 475 F.3d at 479. He contends that if the district court were to resentence him to a lower term of imprisonment on remand, it could insulate him from mandatory removal. This argument is unavailing. Under federal immigration law, narcotics trafficking is an “aggravated felony” regardless of the imposed sentence, see 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)(B), and any alien convicted of an aggravated felony is not only deportable, see 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii), but also ineligible for cancellation of removal, see 8 U.S.C. § 1229b(a)(3).

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For the foregoing reasons, we DISMISS the appeal as moot.

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