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Sentencing Guidelines – First Step Act

7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Case Name: United States of America v. Rashod Bethany

Case No.: 19-1754

Officials: RIPPLE, WOOD, and SCUDDER, Circuit Judges.

Focus: Sentencing Guidelines – First Step Act

Rashod Bethany participated in a conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine in Chicago. He was sentenced originally in 2013, but that sentence was vacated, and he was resentenced in 2019 after the enactment of the First Step Act of 2018. He now appeals from that sentence. He submits that, in imposing the 2019 sentence, the district court should have applied to him two sections of the First Step Act, as well as three retroactive amendments to the Sentencing Guidelines. We hold that Mr. Bethany is entitled to the benefit of § 401 of the First Step Act, but the record leaves us in doubt as to whether he would have received the same sentence if he had the benefit of that provision. Accordingly, we order a limited remand to the district court to ascertain whether the district court is inclined to impose a different sentence in light of our decision today. See United States v. Paladino, 401 F.3d 471, 484 (7th Cir. 2005).


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Derek A Hawkins is trademark corporate counsel for Harley-Davidson. Hawkins oversees the prosecution and maintenance of the Harley-Davidson’s international trademark portfolio in emerging markets.

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