Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Monday, June 04, 2007

Thomas: Govt's Consecutive Sentence Recommendation Not in Breach

In U.S. v. Thomas, No. 05-16778 (June 1, 2007), the Court rejected the argument that the government’s statement during sentencing that the court give consideration to consecutive punishment violated its promises in the plea agreement.
In the plea agreement, the government agreed not to recommend a specific sentence, but reserved the right to present evidence and make arguments regarding the application of 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a). The presentence investigation report noted that for a number of identity theft offenses, the Guidelines gave the district court discretion as to whether to run sentences consecutively or concurrently. Prior to sentencing, the government noted that Thomas committed the offenses while on probation and recommended that at least one sentence run consecutively.
The Court held that the government did not breach its plea agreement when it recommended consecutive sentences, because it had reserved the right to make a recommendation regarding the application of the Guidelines and § 3553(a).