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October 26, 2007

Interesting Tenth Circuit discussion of restitution issues

The Tenth Circuit has a very interesting discussion of some very interesting restitution issues in US v. Serawop, No. 06-4022 (10th Cir. Oct. 25, 2007) (available here).  Here are the basic facts and the range of issues covered in Serawop:

Redd Rock Serawop was convicted of one count of voluntary manslaughter in the death of his three-month-old daughter Beyoncé Serawop.  The court sentenced Mr. Serawop to 120 months’ imprisonment and ordered him, under the Mandatory Victims’ Restitution Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3663A (“MVRA”), to pay $325,751 in restitution to the Estate of Beyoncé Serawop. Mr. Serawop appeals the restitution order.  We affirm....

Mr. Serawop argues that we must reverse the restitution order because the statute (1) is written in the disjunctive so as not to encompass an award of future income; (2) is meant to “reimburse” for past income lost, rather than project potential future income lost; (3) is ambiguous and is thus subject to the rule of lenity, which would resolve any ambiguity in favor of Mr. Serawop; (4) does not apply to speculative losses; and finally (5) requires that gender- and race-based statistics and consumption be included in the calculation.  As will become apparent, we disagree.

October 26, 2007 at 07:10 AM | Permalink


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