Archive | 3582(c)(2)

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

Out Of Range

United States v. Main, No. 08-4088-cr (2d Cir. August 27, 2009) (Walker, Wallace, CJJ)

Christopher Main pled guilty to a crack cocaine offense pursuant to a Rule 11(c)(1)(C) agreement that stipulated to maximum sentence of 96 months, which was below the 120 to 150-month guideline range, and provided a “carve-out” for Main to seek a downward departure. The district court accepted the plea agreement, granted Main a modest departure and sentenced him to 84 months’ imprisonment.

Three years later, Main moved for a sentence reduction under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) and U.S.S.G. § 1B1.10 because the Sentencing Commission had retroactively ameliorated the guideline covering crack offenses. The district court denied the motion, and the circuit affirmed.

Under the statute, a defendant is eligible for a sentence reduction only where the original sentence was “based on a sentencing range” that the Sentencing Commission has subsequently lowered. Here, however, Main’s sentence was …


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Categories: 1B1.10, 3582(c)(2), crack amendment, Uncategorized

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Friday, May 29th, 2009

Reduction Ad Absurdum

United States v. Savoy, No. 08-4800-cr (2d Cir. May 27, 2009)(per curiam)

After a 1998 jury trial on crack distribution charges, Demetric Savoy faced a guideline sentencing range of 188 to 235 months’ imprisonment, and received a sentence at the bottom of the range. In 2008, he moved, under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2), for a sentence reduction under the retroactive ameliorating amendment to the crack guidelines. With that amendment, Savoy faced a revised range of 151 to 188. However, in the motion, he argued that the court should sentence him to 120 months. The district court granted the § 3583(c)(2) motion and reduced the sentence to 151 months, but refused to go lower. The court believed that the relevant guideline provision, § 1B1.10, was binding and precluded a sentence below the amended range.

On appeal, the circuit affirmed. The language of § 1B.10 is mandatory: the court “shall not reduce …


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Categories: 3582(c)(2), crack amendment, Uncategorized

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Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

Caboose of Discretion

United States v. Borden, No. 08-1625-cr (2d Cir. April 22, 2009: amended opinion) (Cabranes, Hall, CJJ, Sweet, DJ)

Every other circuit to consider the question has concluded that a district court’s denial of a crack retroactivity motion under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) is reviewed for abuse of discretion. With this decision, the Second Circuit joins the train.

Applying that standard here, the court affirmed. The district court reviewed the relevant records, considered the § 3553(a) factors and cited an appropriate reason – the danger that Borden posed to the community. In light of Borden’s lengthy criminal history, the district court was free to reject the Probation Department’s conclusion that Borden no longer “pose[d] a threat to society.”…


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Categories: 3582(c)(2), crack amendment, Uncategorized

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