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Thursday, July 23, 2015

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

In USA v. Emanuel Newman (ND Ind., Miller), a 5-page opinion, Judge Easterbrook writes:

More than 20 years ago, Emanuel Newman was sentenced to 540 months’ imprisonment for drug offenses, which included distributing between 40 and 50 kilograms of cocaine. See United States v. Newman, No. 91-3192 (7th Cir. Oct. 5, 1993) (unpublished order affirming his conviction and sentence). Congress and the Sentencing Commission have several times reduced permissible sentences for sellers of crack cocaine, but until recently none of these changes affected persons who distributed powder cocaine. Amendment 782 to the Sentencing Guidelines, however, effects an across-the-board reduction of two offense levels in the drug-quantity table at U.S.S.G. §2D1.1. Because the Sentencing Commission made that change retroactive, 18 U.S.C. §3582(c)(2) allows district judges to reduce the sentences of persons already in prison (though Amendment 782 provides that reductions under its terms cannot permit anyone to be released before November 1, 2015). * * *

The United States has confessed error, and for the reasons we have given we agree with its conclusion that the district court lacked the authority to increase Newman’s sentence by an order entered more than 14 days after December 30, 2014.

The district court’s decision of January 29, 2015, is vacat-ed, and the case is remanded with instructions to reinstate a set of terms that in aggregate cannot exceed 348 months.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 23, 2015 01:07 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions