UNITED STATES V. PALMA, NO. 13-2230-CR (2D CIR. MAR. 27, 2014) (SACK, LIVINGSTON, AND LOHIER) (SUMMARY ORDER), AVAILABLE HERE
This defendant claimed that the sentencing court committed procedural error by failing to articulate the reasons for the sentence imposed and not addressing the 3553(a) factors. On plain error review, the first challenge failed. The Court explained that even if a sentencing court fails to state in open court the reasons for its sentencing decision, that is not tantamount to establishing plain error. Moreover, the sentencing court in this case expressly adopted the presentence report, which was detailed. The report discussed the amount of drugs and money involved in the offense. The district court even noted the former at the sentencing hearing. Based upon the totality of circumstances, no plain error existed.
The Court also disagreed with the 3553(a) claim, noting there is no requirement that the sentencing court mention the factors or explain how each factor affected the sentencing decision. Absent evidence to the contrary, the presumption that courts not only know the laws governing their decisions, but also followed those laws, controls.