Wednesday, June 06, 2012

District Court Commits No Less Than 5 Errors in Applying the Guidelines

The Sixth Circuit issued an unpublished decision in United States v. Godsey today in which the district court committed a slew of mistakes in applying the guidelines.  The district court incorrectly failed to decrease the offense level by three for acceptance of responsibility, failed to decrease the offense level due to the FSA-based guidelines amendments, incorrectly held that an upward departure due to the insufficiency of the criminal history category disqualified the defendant for safety valve relief, and erred in ungrouping the three counts under USSG § 3D1.2(d).  On top of all that, the Sixth Circuit found that the aforementioned upward departure in criminal history category was improperly applied because it was based on prior non-similar arrests, most of which the district court said it would disregard.  Despite this plethora of errors, the Sixth still denied the defendant’s request to be resentenced by a different Judge.

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