Sentencing Commission Calls for Changes Regarding Career Offenders and “Crime of Violence”

By: Zachary M. Nielsen

The Sentencing Commission sent a report to Congress on July 28, 2016, recommending several sweeping changes to criminal penalties. The Commission’s study was initiated following concerns that the career offender guidelines in U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1 brought about overly harsh penalties due to its inability to distinguish between career offenders with diverse criminal records. Its examination centered on the recidivism rates among career offenders fitting three categories: drug trafficking only, violent only, and mixed.

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Sentence Vacated Following Miscalculation of Base Offense Level

By: Zachary M. Nielsen

In United States v. Black (D. Kan.)(15-3111)(07-CR-10221-MLB-4), the 10th Circuit vacated the district court’s sentence and remanded for resentencing due to an error in the calculation of the base offense under the United States Sentencing Guidelines. In addition, the Court found that, despite a 23-month delay in bringing him to trial, the government did not deny defendant Black his Sixth Amendment right to speedy trial.

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