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Sentencing — crack cocaine

United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit


Sentencing — crack cocaine

Amendment 760 does not apply to career offenders.

“‘Generally correct’ is worth emphasizing, however, as we have found only one reported appellate case prior to the present one in which a career offender’s sentencing range decreased as a result of a retroactive amendment to section 2D1.1: United States v. Jones, 596 F.3d 273, 275-77 (5th Cir. 2010). In two other reported cases a retroactive amendment to that section reduced a career offender’s offense level, but, unlike Jones and the present case, not his guidelines range: United States v. Taylor, supra, 627 F.3d at 676; United States v. Washington, supra, 618 F.3d at 870–73. In these cases, at the original sentencing the defendant’s offense level under section 2D1.1 exceeded his offense level in the section 4B1.1(b) table as a career offender; and so, as in our case, Amendment 706 lowered the defendant’s offense level. But as a result, the career-offender offense level now exceeded the section 2D1.1 offense level, and as a result of the specification of offense levels in Table 4B1.1(b) neither defendant’s sentencing range decreased and so neither was eligible for relief under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2). These cases are similar to the present case insofar as the defendants’ offense levels did decline even though they were career offenders, but are consistent with the statement in Forman because the defendants’ guidelines ranges did not decrease and as a result they did not benefit from the retroactive amendments, as the defendant in this case and the defendant in Jones did.”


12-1871 U.S. v. Williams

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, Reagan, J., Posner, J.

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