Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Friday, August 21, 2015

Maiello: Delay of Amendment 782 to November 2015 is valid

In U.S. v. Maiello, No. 15-10532 (Aug. 19, 2015), the Court held that a drug offender subject to an Amendment 782 sentence reduction was not eligible to immediately benefit from the reduction because of the Sentencing Commission’s decision to delay any release until November 2015. The Court rejected the argument that the Sentencing Commission improperly considered offenders’ rehabilitation in its delay decision, in violation of Tapia v. U.S. The Court noted that Tapia applied to a decision to impose a sentence, not to a decision to reduce a sentence under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c). The Court also rejected the argument that the Commission’s delay decision violated the Administrative Procedure Act, pointing out that policy statements of the Commission are not subject to the APA. The Court also found that the Commission’s decision was reasonable, not arbitrary and capricious. Finally, the Court rejected the argument that the Commission’s delay decision encroached on the judicial power. The Court noted that Congress delegated to the Sentencing Commission the power to specify the circumstances under which sentences may be reduced.