Friday, May 26, 2017

Sentence Reversed for Violation of Tapia

U.S. v. Tidzump, 841 F.3d 844 (11/9/16) (Wyo.) (published) - The 10th reverses yet another sentence on plain error review for a violation of Tapia v. U.S., 564 U.S. 319 (2011). The district court indicated it gave Ms. Tidzump a higher sentence than the court would otherwise have imposed so that he could qualify for RDAP, which meant the judge tried to impose a sentence where Ms. Tidzump would have 24 months left to serve once he got to prison. Since he'd already served 4 months and it would take time to get him to a prison, the district court imposed 31 months. The only new aspect of this case is that the district court downwardly varied. The 10th says that didn't matter. The court indicated it would have imposed a much lower sentence if it didn't want to get Ms. Tidzump into RDAP. The 10th rejects the government's claim that the judge's comment: "maybe not" indicated some kind of equivocation. The error was plain. There was a reasonable probability the court would have imposed a significantly lower sentence absent the error. And that fact meant the error seriously affected the fairness, integrity and public reputation of the judicial proceedings. Plain Error Reversal!