United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit
Sentencing — proffer sessions
Even if it violated an agreement not to use information supplied by a defendant during a proffer session, the error was harmless where the information was independently available.
“[N]one of the pieces of information that the district court listed as support for its decision came solely from Bennett’s proffer statement. In fact, although Bennett claimed responsibility for the cocaine during the proffer interview, the district court acknowledged that ‘[i]t’s true that . . . Kelly was the one that supplied [the crack cocaine] to Ms. Hill.’ (R. 252 at 35.) The court went on to note, however, that ‘Mr. Bennett worked with . . . Kelly distributing controlled substances,’ and that Bennett “was involved in Mr. Kelly’s efforts to reach Ms. Hill to retrieve the drugs” in Madison on January 27. (Id.) Further, the district court described how Bennett beat Hill once she returned to Chicago, and the court maintained that ‘Bennett’s anger with Ms. Hill was not because she didn’t bring payment for the marijuana and ecstasy, but because she didn’t bring money for the expensive part of the venture, which was the crack cocaine.’ (Id. at 25-26.) The court concluded that ‘the crack cocaine is properly attributable to [Bennett] as part of his relevant conduct.’ (Id. at 26.)”
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, Crabb, J., Kanne, J.