United States v. Salmona, No. 15-12569 (11th Cir. Jan. 8, 2016).
“Not many people want to be locked up in a federal penitentiary serving a life sentence,” this opinion begins. But Defendant Harlan Salmona does, “because it beats the alternative, which is being locked up in a state penitentiary that he believes is less safe.” Salmona argues that twenty years ago the federal government, via a plea deal, agreed to put him in federal custody, instead of in a state facility, where other inmates have assaulted him for cooperating with the feds.
The Eleventh Circuit rejects this argument. Mandamus is the only avenue of relief that is even arguably available to Salmona at this point, and he doesn’t qualify for it. A writ of mandamus will issue only if the person asking for the writ is clearly entitled to relief, and it’s not at all clear that Salmona, who breached his plea deal by perjuring himself, is now entitled to enforce that deal.