Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Friday, May 23, 2008

Carruth: Failure to give Defendant Right to Allocute is Plain Error

In U.S. v. Carruth, No. 07-12060 (May 22, 2008), the Court vacated a sentence for violation of supervised release because the district court failed to give the defendant an opportunity to allocute, as required by Fed. R. Crim. P. 32.1(b)(2)(E).
On plain error review, the Court cited the text of the Rule, Supreme Court precedent, and its own precedent, for the principle that a district "must personally extend to the defendant the right of allocution." The Court added that prejudice "is presumed" when a defendant is not given an opportunity to allocute and there exists the possibility of a lower sentence.