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US v. Mitchell, No. 08-50429

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By FindLaw Staff on October 20, 2010 4:08 PM

Career Offender Sentence Affirmed

In US v. Mitchell, No. 08-50429, the court affirmed defendant's sentence as a career offender under section 4B1.1 of the Sentencing Guidelines following his guilty plea to distributing 52.4 grams of crack cocaine, on the ground that, even in cases where a defendant is being sentenced under the Guidelines as a career offender, the sentencing court may depart downward to account for the disparity between treatment of crack cocaine and powder cocaine in the Guidelines.

As the court wrote:  "Patrick J. Mitchell appeals his 180-month imprisonment sentence as a career offender under § 4B1.1 of the United States Sentencing Guidelines following his guilty plea to distributing 52.4 grams of crack cocaine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(A)(iii). We affirm and join other circuits that have clarified that, even in cases where a defendant is being sentenced under the Guidelines as a career offender, the sentencing court may depart downward to account for the disparity between treatment of crack cocaine and powder cocaine in the Guidelines."

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