Federal Circuit Court Affirms Below Guideline Sentence

Source: ACSOL

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed today a below guideline sentence issued to a registrant by a federal trial court.  The registrant pled guilty to one charge — attempted coercion or enticement of a minor — and could have been sentenced to prison for up to 57 months.  Instead, the trial court sentenced the registrant to time served (two months) as well as 120 months of supervised release, one year of home confinement, participation in a sex offender treatment program and registration as a sex offender.

The prosecutors filed this appeal based on its assertion that the sentence failed to afford deterrent effect.  Specifically, the government argued that the registrant’s “commendable 20-year military career and his exemplary behavior on pretrial release are not ‘sufficiently compelling’ to justify his below-guidelines sentence.'”

The appellate court cited the registrant’s “meritorious military career” during which “he earned numerous awards and commendations” for service in Iraq and Somalia.  The appellate court also cited the registrant’s expressed remorse, treatment for service-related PTSD and full-time employment during his pretrial release as factors supporting his below guideline sentence.

In its opinion, the appellate court noted that the district court’s sentence is a “substantial punishment.”  Finally, the appellate court distinguished two cases cited by the government based upon the acts committed the th registrants in the other cases.

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has appellate jurisdiction over U.S. district courts in seven states — Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.

U S v Davis – 8th Cir – Sentencing – Dec 2020


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The prosecutor cares only about packing their resume by convicting this person to XX number of years. That is how they get status. I heard one prosecutor boasting about having awarded 1000 years of incarceration time in their career. The prosecutor doesn’t care that 57 months of incarceration would destroy this man’s life. His job, his career, his friends, his family, all would be gone after 57 months. I know, I was given a 70 month sentence and when I was released, the world that I knew was gone, literally, becasue the first I-Phone came out the year I was sentenced. The Apple Blueberry was the hot new computer, Amazon was a book store, and You Tube had not been invented. Can you imagine the world I stepped out into? But the witch that prosecuted cared not that I had a similar background to this man, and I had a single CP offense, but she wrote a glowing report to the paper (yes, the news paper was still popular) about how she took yet another dangerous person off the streets, and she was sure there were many victims out there, even though an extensive investigation by the FBI revealed, as the FBI report said, “He appeared to be a well liked and respected member of society.” But the single goal of the prosecutor was to rack those numbers up, and she did, which put an end to the life I knew.