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Sentencing Guidelines

7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Case Name: United States of America v. Jesse Pennington

Case No.: 18-1375

Officials: MANION, HAMILTON, and BRENNAN, Circuit Judges.

Focus: Sentencing Guidelines

Jesse Pennington pleaded guilty to distributing a Schedule I controlled substance in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1). The district court sentenced her to one year and one day in prison, within the Sentencing Guidelines range of ten to sixteen months in prison. Pennington does not argue that her sentence was substantively unreasonable, but she argues that the district court made procedural errors in sentencing her. She first argues that the district court should not have compared her to one of her co-defendants when determining her sentence because the two were not similarly situated. Next, she argues that the court violated her due process rights by twice relying on inaccurate information at sentencing.

We affirm. The district court’s comparison of Pennington to her co-defendant was not a procedural error. The comparison was reasonable and did not exclude consideration of other factors that 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) requires courts to consider. We also find that the court did not violate Pennington’s due process rights by relying on inaccurate information. Although the judge made a factual error in explaining the sentence orally, he corrected the error in the written explanation, indicating that the error did not affect the ultimate sentence.


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