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Thursday, March 03, 2005

Ind. Decisions - [Updated] 7th Circuit posts two today

Employers Insur v. Titan Int'l Inc. (CD Ill.) [9 pp.]

Before FLAUM, Chief Judge, and POSNER and SYKES, Circuit Judges.
POSNER, Circuit Judge. The appeal in this diversity suit presents issues of appellate jurisdiction and Illinois contract law in the setting of a dispute over insurance coverage. * * *

USA v. Turner, James M. (CD Ill.) [14 pp.]

Before BAUER, EASTERBROOK, and KANNE, Circuit Judges.
BAUER, Circuit Judge. James Turner was indicted for conspiracy to launder money, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(h), and conducting a monetary transaction with the proceeds of a specified unlawful activity, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1957(a) and 2. After a jury trial, Turner was found guilty of the conspiracy charge. His appeal includes issues related to his conviction, sentence, and various evidentiary rulings. * * *

Subsequent to the briefing and oral argument in this case, the Supreme Court ruled that the Sixth Amendment is violated when a sentence that has been enhanced under the Guidelines based on the sentencing judge’s determination of a fact (other than a prior conviction) results in a sentence that exceeds the maximum authorized by the facts established by a guilty plea or a jury verdict. United States v. Booker, No. 04-104 (U.S. Jan. 12, 2005). The Court also held that the Guidelines are no longer mandatory, but advisory in every case. Id.

In this case, Turner’s sentence was enhanced by the judge’s findings that he obstructed justice, that the money laundering was sophisticated, and that he was accountable for the entire amount of money laundered in the conspiracy. These enhancements exceeded the maximum authorized by the facts established by the jury’s verdict. The judge treated the Guidelines as mandatory and sentenced Turner accordingly.

Turner’s sentence is vacated and remanded for resentencing because of the error in imposing his sentence based upon the total amount of laundered money. Upon remand, the court should resentence in light of the principles set out in Booker. The other issues raised by Appellant are without substantive merit and will not be discussed.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 3, 2005 01:57 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions