Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Monday, November 02, 2009

Tate: 946-month sentence affirmed for bank robber

In U.S. v. Tate, No. 09-10288 (Oct. 30, 2009), the Court affirmed a defendant’s convictions for multiple bank robberies and firearm-possessions.

The Court rejected Tate’s challenge to the warrantless search of his home. The Court pointed out that probable cause suffices to justify search of a home when one would expect the defendant to have hidden stolen materials at his home. Here the circumstances established probable cause.

The Court also rejected Tate’s argument that the district court should have invited defense counsel to state whether he had any Batson challenges before the jury is sworn. The Court declined to create a new rule requiring the Court to ask for Batson objections.

Turning to sentencing, and recognizing a Circuit conflict on the issue, the Court held that 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) requires that sentence for using a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence be imposed consecutively. The Court also rejected Tate’s challenge to the reasonableness of his 946-month sentence, pointing out that it was within the Guideline range, and noting Tate’s escalating criminal history since his teenage years.