Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Harris: Above Guideline Range Sentence in 922(g) Case Was Not Unreasonable

In United States v. Harris, No. 18-15055 (July 1, 2020) (Grant, William Pryor, Jung (MD Fla.), the Court held that the defendant’s sentence above the guideline range was not procedurally or substantively unreasonable.

For the 922(g) offense, the district court accepted the parties’ joint view that the guideline range was 33-41 months, rejecting the probation officer’s view that it was 92-115 months.  However, the court varied upward to 92 months.  On appeal, the Eleventh Circuit held that the district court adequately justified the variance, emphasizing the defendant's criminal history and that the defendant’s firearm possession ultimately led to someone’s death.  The district court also considered the defendant’s salutary post-offense conduct.  No more explanation was required.  The Eleventh Circuit also concluded that the 92-month sentence was not substantively unreasonable because the sentencing court did not abuse its discretion by giving great weight to the seriousness of the offense and criminal history, but less weight to his post-offense conduct.