Archive | sentencing findings

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

Remand for resentencing to consider the difference between substantive conspiracy liability and the scope of relevant conduct for guidelines purposes; Remand for resentencing under § 3582(c)(2)

The Second Circuit issued four summary orders in criminal cases today.

United States v. Rigo, 15-1914, remanded the case for resentencing. The Second Circuit held that the district court committed plain error in calculating the loss amount for the purposes of determining the guideline range. The Circuit explained that “the scope of conduct for which a defendant can be held accountable under the sentencing guidelines is significantly narrower than the conduct embraced by the law of conspiracy.” Order at 2. The “emphasis in substantive conspiracy liability is the scope of the entire conspiracy” but the guidelines are concerned with “the scope of the individual defendant’s undertaking.” Id. (emphasis in original). In other words, even if the acts of co-conspirators were foreseeable to the defendant, they do not constitute relevant conduct for guidelines purposes if they were “not within the scope of the defendant’s agreement.” Id. at 3. …


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Categories: 3582(c)(2), conspiracy, relevant conduct, Rule 11, sentencing findings

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Monday, May 16th, 2016

Second Circuit Vacates Sentence Due to Inadequate Factual Determination Regarding Application of the “Otherwise Extensive” Nature of Conduct Enhancement under U.S.S.G. § 3B1.1(a); Affirms Three Convictions in Summary Orders

In United States v. Kent, 14-2082, the Second Circuit vacated a sentence and remanded for resentencing after concluding that the District Court’s application of a 4-level enhancement under U.S.S.G. § 3B1.1(a) was not supported by adequate factual findings.  The district court determined that Mr. Kent was a leader or organizer of criminal activity that was “otherwise extensive” within the meaning of U.S.S.G. § 3B1.1(a)  and applied the 4-level enhancement.  Many of the facts relied upon by the district court in making this determination – including the amount of money Mr. Kent made and the number of victims of the scheme – already were taken into account by enhancements under U.S.S.G. § 2B1.1(b)(1)(H) (the loss amount enhancement) and U.S.S.G. § 2B1.1(b)(2)(B) (the number of victims enhancement).  The Second Circuit explained that relying on loss amount and the number of victims to find that criminal activity was “otherwise extensive” for …


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Categories: conscious avoidance, double counting, sentencing findings

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Thursday, May 5th, 2016

District Court Plainly Erred by Using a Guideline Unsupported by the Facts, Even Where the Parties Stipulated to that Guideline in a Plea Agreement

In United States v. Rendsland, Docket No. 14-3942-cr, a summary order issued today, the Circuit ruled that the district court committed plain error in relying on U.S.S.G. § 2A2.2 (“Aggravated Assault”) to calculate Mr. Rendsland’s Guideline range, rather than § 2A2.4 (“Obstructing or Impeding Officers”), even though the parties had stipulated that this was the applicable Guideline in a plea agreement. (Disclosure: Ed Zas of the Federal Defenders of New York submitted an Amicus brief raising this argument on Mr. Rendsland’s behalf). This was so because nothing in the record showed that Mr. Rendsland committed “aggravated assault,” defined in Application Note 1 of § 2A2.2 as a “felonious assault that involved (A) a dangerous weapon with intent to cause bodily injury (i.e., not merely to frighten) with that weapon; (B) serious bodily injury; (C) strangling, suffocating, or attempting to strangle or suffocate; or (D) an …


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Categories: guideline, sentencing findings

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Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

Role Away

United States v. Labbe, No. 08-0673-cr (2d Cir. December 4, 2009) (Newman, Pooler, Katzmann, CJJ)

About a week before Labbe’s sentencing, the district court issued a written Sentencing Opinion describing the sentence it was likely to impose. The Opinion included a 4-level role reduction for Labbe’s “minimal” participation and announced that “Labbe is hereby sentenced to … 57 months.” The Opinion noted, however, that this was “subject to modification at the sentencing hearing.”

Before sentencing, the government sent a letter to the court objecting to the role reduction, but at the sentencing hearing itself the defense focused its arguments primarily on the loss calculations, apparently assuming that the judge had decided to keep the role reduction. The judge asked the government a few questions about the relative participation levels of Labbe and his co-conspirators, then announced that the “government’s argument and its reading of the guidelines with respect to the …


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Categories: role adjustment, sentencing findings, Uncategorized

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Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

Feckless Enganderment

United States v. Legros, No. 05-2828-cr (2d Cir. June 17, 2008) (Jacobs, Calabresi, Sack, CJJ)

When police officers responded to a “shots fired” radio call, they encountered three men. One of them, Legros, ran off, and tossed a gun along the way. That gun matched several spent shell casings recovered from the scene. A jury convicted Legros of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

At sentencing, he received the statutory maximum, 120 months; this was a guideline sentence – the range was 110 to 137 – that included a four-level enhancement for possessing the gun in connection with another felony offense. The theory advanced by the probation department (obviously just serving as a mouthpiece for the government) was that Legros had been shooting at someone named Christopher Passius, in a gang-related retaliation.

Legros contested the enhancement and, at a sentencing hearing, the government introduced, through a police officer, …


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Categories: sentencing findings, Uncategorized

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