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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Ind. Courts - 7th Circuit Indiana opinion yesterday re sentencing

In USA v. John Lewis (SD Ind., Magnus-Stinson), a 13-page opinion, Judge Hamilton writes:

A jury found appellant John A. Lewis guilty of five federal sex offenses. The district court sentenced Lewis, who is 66 years old and in poor health, to the statutory mandatory minimum sentence of 35 years in prison. Lewis has appealed, but he does not challenge either his convictions or the prison term. The district judge, while recognizing that the chances Lewis will survive his prison sentence are low, also included in his sentence a life term of supervised release. The only issues before us concern the supervised release portion of his sentence. (Lewis also raised a minor forfeiture issue, but that has been resolved by agreement; we do not address it.)

Lewis raised no objections in the district court to any aspect of the supervised release term and conditions. Represented by new counsel on appeal, however, Lewis argues that the court’s findings and explanations were not sufficient and that we must vacate the sentence and remand for resentencing, or at least for further consideration of supervised release. See generally, e.g., United States v. Kappes, 782 F.3d 828 (7th Cir. 2015); United States v. Thompson, 777 F.3d 368 (7th Cir. 2015); United States v. Siegel, 753 F.3d 705 (7th Cir. 2014).

We affirm the judgment of the district court. Sound application of principles of waiver and forfeiture convinces us there is no need to send this case back to the district court. The defense had ample advance notice of the terms of proposed release that were contemplated and ultimately imposed. Before sentence was actually imposed, the court expressly invited objections and requests for further findings or elaboration. The defense expressly declined the invitation. That was waiver. Even if it were deemed only forfeiture, there was no plain error requiring remand.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 25, 2016 10:21 AM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions