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Monday, March 03, 2008

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides one Indiana case today

In USA v. Martinez (SD Ind., Judge Barker), a 10-page opinion, Judge Rovner writes:
The jury was not asked to make a specific finding as to drug quantity but instead was told, apparently without objection from the defendants, that in order to convict on either count it had to find that the government proved the amount alleged in the indictment. Later at sentencing the district court concluded that the precise quantity equaled 1,407 kilograms, and used that figure in applying the sentencing guidelines. The court sentenced Martinez to 126 months’ imprisonment, but assessed Cardenaz three extra offense levels as a manager or supervisor of the conspiracy and sentenced him to 210 months. On appeal Martinez and Cardenaz contend that their convictions must be set aside because no rational jury could have found beyond a reasonable doubt that the charged offenses involved at least 1,000 kilograms of marijuana. Both appellants also contend that the jury, rather than the district court, should have decided the drug quantity used in applying the sentencing guidelines, and that the district court overstated the relevant amount. Finally, Cardenaz objects to the upward adjustment in offense level for his leadership role. For the reasons that follow, we affirm the convictions and sentences of both appellants.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 3, 2008 11:25 AM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions