U.S. Sixth Circuit - The FindLaw 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

Denial of a Sentence Reduction Upheld

In US v. Williams, No. 09-5331, a defendant challenged an order denying his motion to reduce his sentence for possession of with intent to distribute and for being a felon in possession of a firearm

The Sixth Circuit affirmed the ruling as the career offender guidelines, and not crack cocaine guidelines, controlled his original sentence, and thus the district court lacked jurisdiction to resentence defendant under section 3582(c)(2).  

Specifically, the court stated: "Because the district court originally sentenced him using the career offender guideline, rather than the crack cocaine guideline, Williams would have been subject to the same sentencing range even if Amendment 706 existed at the time of his original sentence....Accordingly, Williams's sentence is not "based on a sentencing range that has subsequently been lowered by the Sentencing Commission," as § 3582(c)(2) requires....And since the question is jurisdictional, [citation omitted], we conclude that the district court lacked authority to reach the discretionary resentencing question."

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