Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Sentencing Guidelines


Sentencing Guidelines


7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Case Name: United States of America v. Ernest Russell

Case No.: 22-1817

Officials: Rovner, Kirsch, and Jackson-Akiwumi, Circuit Judges.

Focus: Sentencing Guidelines

Russell was found guilty of distributing heroin and fentanyl under the statute 21 U.S.C. 841(a)(1). As a result, he received a sentence that was below the Guidelines, with a duration of 96 months in prison, followed by a three-year period of supervised release. Russell took issue with a specific condition attached to his supervised release: the requirement for him to undergo a sex-offender evaluation to determine whether he needed sex-offender treatment. This condition was put forth by the court.

When imposing this condition, the district court drew information from a police report that was summarized in the Presentence Report (PSR). This report indicated that Russell had a prior conviction in 2010 related to the sexual assault of a girl who later became his stepdaughter. Despite Russell not providing any evidence to challenge the accuracy of the PSR, he did emphasize that his “sexual assault case” was classified as a misdemeanor rather than a felony. He expressed concerns about potential issues this condition could cause for him during his time in prison. The district court found the details in the PSR to be sufficiently comprehensive for the nature of the offense and the age of the victim, considering them credible. The court also clarified that if the assessment recommended treatment and Russell objected, the court would then determine the necessity of such treatment.

The Seventh Circuit upheld the decision. It clarified that the condition did not delegate judicial authority to any external party, ensuring that the final decision-making power rested solely with the judge. The condition was narrowly crafted and aligned with the objectives outlined in the Sentencing Guidelines.


Decided 08/31/23

Full Text


Should Justice Protasiewicz recuse herself on gerrymandering cases that go before the Wisconsin Supreme Court?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Legal News

See All Legal News

WLJ People

Sea all WLJ People

Opinion Digests