Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Monday, September 08, 2014

Green: No 3582(c)(2) sentence reduction for crack cocaine offender held accountable for 32.1 kilos

In U.S. v. Green, No. 12-12952 (Sept. 4, 2014), the Court affirmed the denial of a reduction of sentence pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) for a defendant convicted of crack cocaine trafficking. Green claimed he was eligible for a sentence reduction based on amendments to the crack cocaine Guidelines that took effect after his original sentencing. The district court denied relief because it found that at the original sentencing it had held Green accountable for a drug quantity in excess of 10 kilograms, and as much as 32.1 kilograms – quantities for which no reduction would apply under the amended Guidelines. The Court noted that since a § 3582(c)(2) resentencing is not de novo, a district court may not make any new finding inconsistent with a finding it made in the original sentence proceeding. Thus, here the district court properly clarified that it had held Green accountable for 32.1 kilograms of cocaine base. The Court also rejected Green’s reliance on a statement it had made about the drug quantity in an earlier appeal in his case. The Court found that it had merely assumed that a Guideline amendment lowered Green’s guideline range, he was still not entitled to a sentence reduction. But this assumption by the Court did not subsequently bind the district court.