U.S. Tenth Circuit - The FindLaw 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

US v. Landeros Lopez, No. 09-8056

In US v. Landeros Lopez, No. 09-8056, the court affirmed defendant's conviction for conspiracy to traffic in methamphetamine on the ground that, when read in combination with the prosecutor's statements and the plea colloquy, a presentence report provided a sufficient factual basis for the court to accept defendant's plea.  However, the court vacated defendant's sentence on the ground that, by definitively announcing defendant's sentence before providing him with an opportunity to speak on his own behalf, the district court prematurely adjudged his sentence.

As the court wrote:  "Blas Landeros-Lopez ("Landeros") pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to traffic in methamphetamine. On appeal, Landeros argues that the district court failed to elicit a sufficient factual basis to support his guilty plea and denied him the right to speak at sentencing. Our decision today clarifies this circuit's factual basis standard and explains the contours of the right of allocution. Exercising jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1291 and 18 U.S.C. § 3742, we affirm Landeros' conviction, but vacate his sentence and remand for resentencing."

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