Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Glover: Defendant not eligible for crack Amendment reduction

In U.S. v. Glover, No. 12-10580 (July 11, 2012), the Court held that a defendant was ineligible for a sentence reduction pursuant to Amendment 750 of the Sentencing Guidelines which, effective, November 1, 2011, reduced offense levels for crack cocaine offenses.
The Court rejected the government’s argument that the appeal was untimely, pointing out that Glover’s pro se motion for reconsideration of the district court’s denial of his motion for sentence reduction under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) tolled the deadline for filing a notice of appeal.
Turning to the merits, the Court noted that under the Guideline commentary to U.S.S.G. § 1B1.10, a defendant can only receive a sentence reduction based on a Guideline amendment if the amendment "actually lowers the Guideline range." Glover’s original sentence was based on a mandatory minimum that "trumped" the Guidelines range. Therefore he was not eligible for a reduction.
The Court also rejected Glover’s argument that he was eligible for a sentence reduction because his sentence was based on a sentence reduction for "substantial assistance." The Court determined that Glover’s original Guidelines range was the statutory maximum, not the sentence after reduction for substantial assistance. Therefore, the crack cocaine Amendment did not actually lower his Guideline range and make him eligible for a sentence reduction.