Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Court Can Resentence Defendant Who Had 11(c)(1)(C) Agreement Based on Amended Guidelines

US v. Cobb, -- F.3d --, 2009 WL 3418214 (10th Cir. 10/26/09) - reversal of district court ruling that it lacked authority under the amended crack guidelines to reduce Mr. Cobb's bottom of the guidelines sentence, which was imposed under 11(e)(1)(C). The sentence was "tied to the guidelines at every step." The final plea agreement specified the applicable guideline range and the parties negotiated the stipulated sentence to be a guideline range sentence. The sentencing court independently determined the applicable guideline range when it imposed the sentence. "It is simply unrealistic to think that the applicable guideline range is not a major factor (if not the major factor) in reaching a stipulated sentence. If we categorically removed Rule 11 pleas from the reach of § 3582, it would perpetuate the very disparity § 3582 and the retroactive application of Amendment 706 were meant to correct." Hartz dissents.