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January 22, 2009

Seventh Circuit covers a lot of 3582(c) crack sentencing reduction issues

A new per curiam opinion today from the Seventh Circuit, US v. Foreman, No. 08-2177 (7th Cir. Jan. 22, 2009) (available here), goes over a lot of law concerning efforts by defendants to get the benefit of the new crack guidelines.  Here is how the opinion begins:

Late last year the Sentencing Commission reduced the base-offense levels for crack-cocaine offenses and made the changes retroactive.  SeeU.S.S.G. § 2D1.1(c); U.S.S.G., Supp. to App. C 226-31 (2008) (Amendment 706). Since then scores of convicted crack offenders have returned to the district courts to request sentence reductions under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2).  But not everyone is eligible; we have consolidated for decision five appeals, each from a denial of a motion under § 3582(c)(2), that illustrate several common barriers to sentence modification.

The opinion generally does not appear to break much (if any) new ground, though I did notice this summary rejection of an issue that is being litigated in other lower courts:

As for the denial of Forman’s motion to appoint additional counsel, there is no right to counsel when bringing a motion under § 3582(c)(2).

Notably, in support of this assertion, the Seventh Circuit does cites case a roughly decade old or older.

January 22, 2009 at 02:08 PM | Permalink


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