Archive | acceptance of responsibility

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

Circuit overturns decision to withhold acceptance of responsibility despite guilty plea

In an opinion issued today, the Circuit vacated and remanded a decision by SDNY Judge Katherine B. Forrest to deny the defendant a reduction in offense level based on acceptance of responsibility despite his guilty plea.  You can access the decision in United States v. Delacruz, No. 15-4174, here.

The Circuit held that “[I]n light of a defendant’s due process right to contest alleged factual errors in his PSR, his good-faith objections to material PSR statements that he disputes does not provide a proper foundation for denial of the acceptance-of-responsibility credit.”  Op. at 22.  If the defendant objects to, and denies, facts that are neither part of the count(s) of conviction nor “relevant conduct” within the meaning of U.S.S.G. Section 1B1.3, the District Court may not deny an acceptance-of-responsibility reduction based on the defendant’s objections or denials.  Op. at 28. It may, however, consider in its analysis pursuant …

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Saturday, August 13th, 2011

Point of Controversy

United States v. Lee, No. 10-493-cr (2d Cir. July 26, 2011) (Parker, Chin, CJJ, Korman, DJ)

For the many years, the third acceptance of responsibility point – although to be completely faithful to guideline lingo, it is a “level,” not a “point,” since “points” are for criminal history – was something of a given. As long as the defendant either confessed early on or pled guilty timely, the reduction was granted. Effective November 1, 2003, however, the Commission amended the language of this adjustment, guideline section 3E1.1(b), to require a government motion for the third point. The amended section indicates that such a motion should state “that the defendant has assisted authorities in the investigation or prosecution of his own misconduct by timely notifying authorities of his intention to enter a plea of guilty, thereby permitting the government to avoid preparing for trial and permitting the government and the court …

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