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Ferguson v. US, No. 10-1127

By FindLaw Staff on October 31, 2010 3:13 PM

Prisoner's Possession Sentence Affirmed

In Ferguson v. US, No. 10-1127, the court affirmed defendant's sentence for possession of a prohibited object in prison where 1) the district court imposed an upward variance and thus was not required to follow the procedural requirements for departing; 2) there was no plain error in the procedural adequacy of the court's consideration; and 3) although some might argue that there was a degree of unfairness when non-personal characteristics contributed to a sentence, here the district court's focus on deterrence and its balancing of the section 3553(a) factors did not make the sentence unreasonable.

As the court wrote:  "Tony Ray Ferguson appeals from his sentence of 60 months imprisonment imposed after his conviction for possession of a prohibited object in prison. See 18 U.S.C. § 1791(a)(2). He contends that the district court1 committed multiple procedural errors, abused its discretion by imposing a sentence 48 months above his Sentencing Guidelines range, and violated the Eighth Amendment in imposing a 60 month sentence for a minor possession conviction. We affirm."

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