Monday, January 27th, 2014

Defendant’s Sentence Properly Enhanced for Inflicting “Life-Threatening Bodily Injury”

Jordan v. United States Parole Commission, No. 12-5021-cr (2d Cir. Jan. 21, 2014) (Winter, Calabresi, and Raggi) (summary order), available here

Jordan, a treaty transfer prisoner under 18 U.S.C. § 4106A, was convicted by a Hungarian court of the rape of a woman and the attempted murder of another woman. The Hungarian tribunal sentenced him to a 14-year prison term with the possibility of conditional release after ten and one-half years. On this appeal, Jordan challenged an order of the United States Parole Commission, entered pursuant to the applicable treaty, that required him to serve 12 years in prison before release on his Hungarian convictions. This summary order affirms the sentence as procedurally and substantively reasonable. [Disclosure: the Federal Defenders of New York, Inc., represents Mr. Jordan.] 

Jordan’s principal argument on appeal was that the Parole Commission erred by calculating his Guidelines range to include a four-level enhancement for inflicting “permanent or life-threatening bodily injury” on his attempted murder victim. The Circuit upheld the enhancement, holding that the facts of the attempted murder “convincingly demonstrate life-threatening injury.” In particular, Jordan pushed his victim into the doorway of a house and “stabbed her in the abdomen.” The resulting injury was sufficiently severe to have placed the victim’s life in jeopardy, thus warranting the enhancement imposed by the Parole Commission.

The Circuit also held that Jordan’s 12-year prison sentence was substantively reasonable. The Court described the crimes of conviction as “brutal,” and noted the significant risk of recidivism.

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