Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Defendant Not Eligible for a Sentence Reduction Under Amendment 599

United States v. Heatley (Jackson), No. 12-2812 (2d Cir. Nov. 13, 2013) (Newman, Hall, and Lynch) (summary order), available here

In this summary order, the Circuit agreed with the district court that the defendant was not eligible for a sentence reduction under 18 U.S.C. 3582(c)(2) and Amendment 599 to the Sentencing Guidelines.
Amendment 599 provides that “when a defendant is convicted of both an underlying offense and a[n] [18 U.S.C.] sec. 924(c) offense for using a firearm in connection with the underlying offense, his sentence on the underlying offense cannot be enhanced for the possession or use of a firearm.”
The defendant could not benefit from this provision because the district court did not apply any enhancements for using or possessing a firearm in connection with his sentence for the count of conspiracy to commit murder. Moreover, even if the court had applied a firearms enhancement to the conspiracy to commit murder count, the defendant would not be entitled to relief. The conspiracy to commit murder count was not an “underlying offense” of the defendant’s two 924(c) firearms counts. Rather, the murder conspiracy charge arose from the murder of one individual, while the 924(c) convictions arose from the murders of two other individuals. Amendment 599 did not apply to that situation.  
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