Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Monday, November 28, 2005

Wood: Obstruction enhancement ok for 1st trial

In U.S. v. Wood, No. 04-11849 (Nov. 21, 2005), the Court affirmed a 97-month sentence for importation of 500 grams or more of cocaine. First, the Court rejected Mr. Wood's claim that the district court improperly included an obstruction of justice enhancement in its guidelines calculation where the enhancement was based on his testimony at his initial trial and where he did not testify at the re-trial following a reversal by the court of appeals on grounds unrelated to the obstruction. The Court then found that there was Booker error where the district court imposed a sentence under a mandatory guidelines scheme. However, reviewing for plain error, the Court held that Wood failed to demonstrate that the district court would have imposed a lower sentence even though it imposed a sentence at the low-end of the sentencing range.