In United States v. Mateo, No. 08-3249, March 24, 2009, the Court of Appeals joined four other Circuits in denying a motion to reduce sentence under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c) where at the original sentencing, the defendant was sentenced under the career offender guideline.
Mateo was convicted of an offense involving crack cocaine. At his original sentencing, however, Mateo was sentenced as a career offender under USSG § 4B1.1. Then, in 2007, after the Sentencing Commission retroactively amended section § 2D1.1 lowering the base offense levels for crack cocaine offenses, Mateo filed a motion for a sentence reduction. He argued that, even though he was sentenced as a career offender under § 4B1.1, his sentence was "based on" § 2D1.1, and therefore entitled to a reduction. He also made arguments under § 3553(a). The district court denied the motion, finding that the Crack Amendment did not reduce the sentencing range applicable to Mateo.
On appeal, the Third Circuit reviewed the district court’s interpretation of the Guidelines, de novo and its decision to grant or deny the § 3582(c) motion for abuse of discretion. The Third Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision stating that, "[t]o be entitled to a reduction of sentence, a defendant’s sentencing range must have been lowered by recalculation based on the amended base offense level." The Court, citing First Circuit precedent, emphasized that the "term ‘sentencing range’ clearly contemplates the end result of the overall guideline calculus, not the series of tentative results reached at various interim steps in the performance of that calculus. Therefore, pursuant to the statute, ‘if an amended guideline does not have the effect of lowering the sentencing range actually used at sentencing, the defendant’s sentence was not based on that range within the intendment of the statute.’" (citation omitted). Consequently, the Court concluded that, as a career offender, Mateo’s base offense level under § 4B1.1 remained the same regardless of the applicable base offense level under § 2D1.1. As such, the amendment to § 2D1.1 did not affect Mateo’s sentencing range and § 3582(c) does not permit a reduction.
Mateo also made the argument that the Guidelines are advisory and strict adherence to its policy statements violate Booker. The Third Circuit rejected the idea and held that the requirements for a sentence reduction under § 3582(c) remain unchanged in light of Booker and Kimbrough.
Case summaries of recently decided Third Circuit criminal law cases and other relevant updates provided by Federal Defenders and CJA Panel Attorneys.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Where originally sentenced under career offender guideline, not entitled to two level reduction under Crack Amendment
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
US Sentencing Commission video recordings of hearings on proposed amendments to US Sentencing Guidelines
February 23, 2023 Topics: Compassionate release February 24, 2023 Topics: Sex abuse of a ward, acquitted conduct https://www.ussc.gov/policy...
Second Rule 404(b) Ruling of the Week: Convictions for Simple Possession of Cocaine Were Not Admissible to Prove Knowledge or Intent to Distribute in a PWID CaseThe Third Circuit issued another strongly worded precedential Rule 404(b) opinion today, explaining that the strictures of the rule are oft...
Greetings Blog readers, We are trying to determine how this Third Circuit blog can best suit your needs. If you have thoughts and suggesti...
Sufficiency of Evidence for Bribery, Extortion and Related Charges in Political Corruption Trial U.S.A. v. Edwin Pawloski and U.S.A. v. Sc...
Post a Comment
Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.