United States v. Smith
So, pursuant to the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984, it’s the judgment of this Court
on Count 1 that the defendant is hereby committed to the custody of the Bureau of
Prisons to be imprisoned for a term of 132 months.
The district court also ordered defendant to pay $5,132 in restitution, a $100 special assessment, and
serve three years of supervised release. Immediately after pronouncing the sentence, the district
court held a hearing regarding revocation of defendant’s supervised release.
At the revocation hearing, defendant was accused of violating the terms of his supervised
release by committing the bank robbery, leaving the judicial district without permission from his
probation officer, and illegally possessing a controlled substance. Through his attorney, defendant
admitted that “there is no question that he violated the conditions of his supervised release.”
Nevertheless, he asked for less than the two-year statutory maximum on each of the two violations
of his supervised release, and asked that they be served concurrently, but consecutive to the sentence
for bank robbery. The court instead sentenced defendant to 24 months on each of the two counts,
each to be served consecutively. The 132-month sentence, combined with the two consecutive 24-
month sentences, result in a total sentence of 180 months (15 years).
Defendant urges the court to vacate or reduce his sentence and remand for resentencing,
claiming that his sentence is “wholly unreasonable under the circumstances of this case.”
held that a reasonableness review, in the sentencing context, involves both procedural and
substantive components. United States v. Webb, 403 F.3d 373, 383 (6th Cir. 2006). Defendant
challenges both the procedural and substantive reasonableness of his sentence.
When reviewing a sentence for reasonableness, an appellate court must consider more than
merely the length of the sentence. Webb, 403 F.3d at 383; see also United States v. Booker, 543
U.S. 220, 245-46 (2005). In order for a sentence to be affirmed as procedurally reasonable, the
reviewing court must ensure that the sentencing judge weighed the appropriate considerations in
determining the sentence. Specifically, the sentencing judge must have appreciated the advisory
nature of the Guidelines, properly calculated the Guidelines range, and considered the factors listed
in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a). United States v. Davis, 458 F.3d 491, 495 (6th Cir. 2006).
Defendant argues that the sentence is procedurally unreasonable for two reasons: (1) the
district court rejected his argument that his sentence should be in the low range as determined by
the Guidelines without providing an adequate explanation, and (2) the district court did not discuss
the § 3553(a) factors, but simply declared that the sentence would be outside of the Guidelines
Defendant objects to the district court’s explanation of the sentence, stating in his brief that
“Defendant argued that his sentence should be at the low end of the Guideline range, but the record
is somewhat vague as to the judge’s reasons for rejecting that argument and sentencing the
Defendant to a sentence two times that of the range.” Defendant then cites our decision in United
States v. Richardson, 437 F.3d 550, 554 (6th Cir. 2006), for the proposition that the district court
must consider a defendant’s argument regarding sentencing and explain its reasons for rejecting it.
Throughout his brief, defendant repeatedly asks us to “remand this case for re-sentencing in light of United
States v. Booker, 125 S. Ct. 738 (2005).” The United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in Booker prior to the
sentencing hearing – the district judge relied on it by name during the hearing. Presumably, by asking us to remand in
light of Booker, defendant is claiming that the sentence is unreasonable, as opposed to claiming that the district court
somehow thought that the sentencing guidelines were mandatory, as they were prior to Booker.