Monday, June 22, 2009

Court affirms denial of sentence reduction for eligible crack defendant

Continuing its long string of affirmances in crack resentencing cases, the Third Circuit affirmed the denial of sentence reduction for an eligible defendant in United States v. Styer, 08-2951 (3d Cir. March 25, 2009) (published June 16, 2009). Although the defendant was eligible for a reduction under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2), the district court found that consideration of the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors and the safety and welfare of the public made a sentence reduction inappropriate. On appeal, the Third Circuit ruled that: (1) the defendant was not entitled to an evidentiary hearing and the court did not abuse its discretion in failing to hold an evidentiary hearing; (2) the district court did not abuse its discretion by concluding that, despite the defendant's progress since incarceration, the nature of the defendant's crime, his criminal history, his use of firearms, and the need for deterrence and public safety made a reduction inappropriate; and (3) the defendant's unmodified sentence was substantively unreasonable.

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