Thursday, December 26th, 2013

Circuit Affirms Top-of-the-Range Sentence for Violation of Supervised Release

United States v. Morris, No. 12-4796-cr (2d Cir. Dec. 23, 2013) (Pooler, Parker, and Chin) (summary order), available here

The defendant violated supervised release by leaving the judicial district without permission. He was sentenced to 14 months of imprisonment, the top of the advisory range, and a new 22-month term of supervised release.
The Circuit held that this sentence was procedurally and substantively reasonable. First, the sentencing court did not improperly consider that the defendant left the district by using false identification, even though the defendant never specifically pled guilty to that conduct. The defendant’s use of an alias to leave the district, the Circuit held, was “relevant to the traveling violation,” and supported the district court’s conclusion that he had a “continued disrespect … [for] the law.” 
The 14-month sentence was also substantively reasonable. The district court found that this sentence was necessary to achieve “specific deterrence,” and that the defendant was a “menace to others.” Accordingly, the sentence was not an abuse of discretion.  
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