Case: 14-50570 Document: 00512956612 Page: 3 Date Filed: 03/04/2015
A court’s refusal to grant an acceptance-of-responsibility reduction is
reviewed under a standard even more limited than for clear error, e.g., United
States v. Buchanan, 485 F.3d 274, 287 (5th Cir. 2007); the denial will not be
reversed unless it is “without foundation”, United States v. Juarez-Duarte, 513
F.3d 204, 211 (5th Cir. 2008) (quoting United States v. Anderson, 174 F.3d 515,
525 (5th Cir. 1999)).
The PSR recommended against the reduction under Guideline § 3E1.1
based on Moral’s, along with other detainees’, refusal to return to his cell
despite repeated orders to do so during a riot. The detention-center employees
used chemical agents to suppress the incident. Because the record supports
the finding that Moral had not withdrawn from criminal conduct, the denial of
an acceptance-of-responsibility reduction was not “without foundation”. Id.
Moral also challenges the substantive reasonableness of his sentence,
asserting the court failed to consider the nonviolent nature of his crime-of-
violence conviction and the loss of the acceptance-of-responsibility reduction.
Because Moral did not object to the substantive reasonableness of his
sentence, review is only for plain error. E.g., United States v. Peltier, 505 F.3d
389, 391-92 (5th Cir. 2007). Under that standard, Moral must show a forfeited
plain (clear or obvious) error that affected his substantial rights. Puckett v.
United States, 556 U.S. 129, 135 (2009). If he does so, we have the discretion
to correct the error, but should do so only if it seriously affects the fairness,
integrity, or public reputation of the proceedings. He fails to show clear or
Moral’s contention is unavailing because within-Guidelines sentences
are presumed reasonable. E.g., United States v. Mondragon-Santiago, 564
F.3d 357, 360 (5th Cir. 2009). The district court considered Moral’s stated
bases in mitigation, the affidavit of his wife discussing the prior conviction, the