United States v. Preacely, No. 09-2580-cr (2d Cir. December 21, 2010) (Raggi, Lynch, Wallace, CJJ)
In this unusual, three-opinion decision the majority remanded for resentencing, finding that the record was ambiguous as to whether the district judge understood his departure authority.
Jamar Preacely pled guilty to a five-year-mando crack conspiracy pursuant to a cooperation agreement. Twenty-seven years old when he was arrested, he had sustained several drug convictions when he was younger, and was categorized by the Sentencing Guidelines as a “career offender.”
He spent about two years in custody on the federal case, then was released on bail. For the next three years, it seems, Preacely turned his life around. He entered and excelled at several rehabilitation programs, stopped using drugs, and actively cooperated in several criminal investigations.
At sentencing, as a career offender, he faced an offense level of 31 and was automatically placed in criminal history …