U.S. Eleventh Circuit - The FindLaw 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

11th Cir. Upholds Maximum Sentence for Career Felon

Ricardo Lenin Osorio-Moreno is not a nice person. Troubling childhood aside, his criminal history began at the age of 15 with crimes of grand theft, burglary, armed robbery, and possession; he was a fast learner in the art of being a career criminal. In fact, his rap sheet is so long, it's one of those things you have to see to believe. The Eleventh Circuit Court opinion is approximately 11 pages long: Osorio's detailed convictions take at least half of the opinion text.

The lower district court ratcheted up his sentence in prison to 120 months after the latest episode of a run in with the law. The circuit court affirmed the lower court's decision with all its blessing.

That's an Impressive Resume

Osorio's first formal run-ins with the law began at the age of 15 when he was convicted of several very severe crimes that would have earned him a felony record had he not been so young. These crimes included grand theft, burglary, criminal mischief, armed robbery, etc. At 19, he received convictions for possessing pot. At 20, he was convicted of selling pot.

He was later deported but returned illegally to commit more crimes. Year after year he continued this way until well into his thirties. In total, he racked up somewhere in the neighborhood of about 35 criminal run-ins with law enforcement -- most of them for violent crimes or crimes that might be considered morally reprehensible. Six of his 20 convictions were not counted for various reasons -- age, for example -- and another dozen or so were not counted also for procedural reasons.

Enough's Enough

The district court determined that the sentencing guideline probably would not serve the dual purpose of retributivism and deterrence of criminal conduct in Osorio's case, particularly given his rather extensive criminal history. In fact, given the facts above and the fact that many of Osorio's criminal run-ins never even made it to his public record, the court concluded that the usually applied sentence of 51 to 63 months would not adequately reflect his criminal history. The district court then notched it up to the cap of 120 months in prison.

The Eleventh Circuit Court agreed with the lower court. In a previous case before the 11th Circuit, the Circuit court affirmed an above-guideline sentence based solely on a defendant's "unwavering desire to commit crimes." United States v. Shaw. The Circuit also noted in another case, the defendant's criminal history properly justified not only hitting the year-cap, but even going beyond that amount.

In the extant case, one could even argue that Osorio was compelled unwaveringly towards criminal conduct -- particularly violent crimes against women and police. Given these facts, it's unsurprising that his fate was sealed.

Related Resources: