« Ind. Law - "What the hell is going on with female lawyers in Indiana?" | Main | Courts - "Scalia on ‘Controverisal Stuff’: ‘I Don’t Even Have to Read the Briefs’" »

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit issued one Indiana ruling today

In US v. Redd (ND Ind., Springmann), a 4-page opinion, Chief Judge Easterbrook writes:

Timothy Redd was convicted in 2005 of distributing crack cocaine and was sentenced to 405 months’ imprisonment. In 2007 the Sentencing Commission reduced the Guideline ranges for crack offenses (Amendment 706, effective November 1, 2007). The next year it made that change retroactive (Amendment 712, effective March 3, 2008). This allowed prisoners whose ranges had been affected by the change to seek lower sentences under 18 U.S.C. §3582(c)(2). See Dillon v. United States, 130 S. Ct. 2683 (2010). Redd swiftly took advantage of this opportunity, and the district judge reduced his sentence to 327 months. Redd did not appeal.

Ten months later, he filed in the district court a document styled “Motion for Reconsideration or Alternatively Renewed Motion for Modification of Sentence.” Redd contended that the judge had not given him as great a reduction as the law warranted. The judge denied this motion, and Redd has appealed. * * *

Only one other circuit has addressed this subject in a published opinion. It held that the doctrine of law of the case usually forecloses successive requests for lower sentences. See United States v. Escobar-Urrego, 110 F.3d 1556, 1560–61 (11th Cir. 1997), relying on Christianson v. Colt Industries Operating Corp., 486 U.S. 800, 815–18 (1988). The eleventh circuit did not discuss either Rule 35 or the norm from §3582(c) that “[t]he court may not modify a term of imprisonment once it has been imposed”. We think it best to stick with the statute rather than apply a common-law doctrine such as law of the case.

Redd let the time for reconsideration or appeal of the district judge’s resentencing expire without action. He could not use a new §3582(c)(2) motion to obtain a fresh decision—or to take what amounts to a belated appeal of the original decision. The judgment of the district court denying the successive §3582(c)(2) motion therefore is AFFIRMED.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 4, 2011 01:52 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions