Thursday, June 15, 2006

Fourth Circuit holds that without a 3553(e) motion, a sentence may dip below statutory minimum

In UNITED STATES v. ALLEN, the Fourth Circuit examined a sentence below the statutory minimum where there was no specific motion pursuant to Section 3553(e). The government argued that it was standard policy for the U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland to consider a motion made pursuant to 5K1.1 to include a 3553(e) motion. The Court rejected this argument, noting that "there simply is no evidence in the record, other than the parties' unsupported allegations, suggesting that this policy, which is incongruous with settled precedent from this court and the United States Supreme Court, does, in fact, exist." Hence, in the absence of a specific motion pursuant to 3553(e), a sentence below the statutory mandatory minimum is not permitted.

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