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Sentencing Guidelines


Sentencing Guidelines


7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Case Name: United States of America v. Tyree White

Case No.: 21-2296

Officials: Sykes, Chief Judge, and Flaum and Lee, Circuit Judges.

Focus: Sentencing Guidelines

In 2017, White was actively involved in a series of armed robberies in Indianapolis, primarily serving as a lookout for his coconspirators. Additionally, he played a role in selecting target locations, staking them out, and providing necessary supplies, including, on at least one occasion, a firearm. The undercover detectives eventually caught them in the act while attempting to rob a Verizon store. White subsequently pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy to commit robbery and one count of conspiracy to commit armed bank robbery. The sentencing guidelines suggested a range of 97-121 months, and the judge handed down four concurrent sentences of 108 months each.

However, the Seventh Circuit Court overturned White’s sentence. According to the general federal conspiracy statute, 18 U.S.C. 371, the maximum imprisonment term for any offense is capped at 60 months. Consequently, the judge is obligated to impose a new sentence for one of the counts. Although she has the option to restructure the entire sentence, it is not mandatory. One of the robbery conspiracy counts was correctly subjected to the physical restraint enhancement. During the bank robbery, one of White’s accomplices brandished a handgun, physically restrained a bank manager, and forced him into the lobby at gunpoint, which meets the criteria for physical restraint under U.S.S.G. 2B3.1(b)(4)(B). However, the second application of the enhancement was not justified as the conduct underlying it did not involve physical restraint. In the case of the cellphone store robbery, an accomplice wielded a gun and ordered an employee to relocate to another area. Despite this error, it did not impact the applicable Guidelines range and is considered harmless.

Vacated and remanded.

Decided 09/06/23

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