Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Early: Affirming upward sentence variance

In U.S. v. Early, No. 10-15537 (July 11, 2012), the Court affirmed a 210-month sentence on a defendant convicted of robbery of two banks using fake bombs.
The Court noted that the Guidelines range was 79-97 months. The Court nonetheless rejected a substantive reasonableness challenge to the 210-month sentence, pointing out that Early had spent much of his adult life in prison, for "multiple" offenses. The Court also noted that Early’s use of fake bombs created "terror" for tellers and customers. In addition, the sentence was below the 900-month statutory maximum for the offenses.
[Concurring, Martin, J., noted the Eleventh Circuit’s failure to exercise "similar deference" when reviewing sentences in which the district court granted a downward variance.]