Thursday, October 08, 2015

Apprendi Does Not Apply to Restitution

U.S. v. Burns, 2015 WL 5256623 (9/30/15) (Wyo.) (Published) - The 10th affirms Mr. Burns' sentence and restitution. The 10th holds Apprendi has no application to restitution. The 10th, despite 10th precedent to the contrary, assumes, without deciding, that restitution may serve punitive purposes, given the Supreme Court's recent indication to that effect in Paroline v. U.S., 134 S. Ct. 1710, 1726 (2014). But there is no statutory maximum restitution. The district court has no authority to impose restitution greater than the victim's losses. Apprendi can't apply when there is no maximum, the 10th concludes, Also, the 10th finds sufficient evidence to support the district court's loss amount calculation. Mr. Burns disputed that he stole from the mail 5 of the 47 items the probation office said he had stolen. That Mr. Burns admitted to stealing mail during the period the 5 items were sent to his post office and not received by the intended recipients was enough. Mr. Burns' suggestion of other possibilities as to how those 5 items could have gone missing didn't undermine the district court's finding.