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Sentencing — mandatory minimums

United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit


Sentencing — mandatory minimums — drug quantity

Where the jury made a finding as to drug quantity, the district judge cannot increase the quantity for sentencing.

“After Alleyne, Claybrooks’s mandatory minimum sentence must be determined by the drug quantity described in the jury’s special verdict form. Cf. Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296, 303 (2004) (holding that statutory maximum for Sixth Amendment ‘purposes is the maximum sentence a judge may impose solely on the basis of the facts reflected in the jury verdict or admitted by the defendant’) (emphasis in original). Because the jurors concluded that Claybrooks’s drug conspiracy conviction involved more than 500 grams but less than 5 kilograms of cocaine, his mandatory minimum sentence is 10 years’ imprisonment. 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(B). This is the mandatory minimum sentence for this case. The district judge cannot raise the mandatory sentencing floor based on its own determination that Claybrooks’s offense involved additional amounts of narcotics beyond those determined by the jury. Cf. Alleyne, 133 S. Ct. at 2162 (‘[I]f a judge were to find a fact that increased the statutory maximum sentence, such a finding would violate the Sixth Amendment’).”

Affirmed in part, and Vacated inpart.

12-1413 U.S. v. Claybrooks


Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Gottschall, J., Williams, J.

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