Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Anton: Court failed to explain reliability of hearsay relied on at sentencing

In U.S. v. Anton, No. 07-13124 (Oct. 30, 2008), the Court affirmed a conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm, but vacated the sentence and remanded for resentencing.
The Court rejected Anton’s argument that his nolo contendere plea to a prior Florida state crime precluded qualifying it as a "felony." The Court pointed out that the Florida state court did not withhold adjudication, and the prior crime therefore counted as a felony.
Turning to the sentence, the Court found that the district court relied on hearsay statements in determining the number of firearms that Anton should be held accountable for, yet failed to make any findings regarding the credibility and reliability of these hearsay statements. The Court therefore remanded the case because the district court relied on "supported conclusions."