Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Vassar

October 25, 2006

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
MICHAEL CARL VASSAR



The opinion of the court was delivered by: J. Ronnie Greer United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

The defendant, Michael Vassar, is currently before the Court awaiting sentencing after his conviction by a jury of conspiracy to distribute and possession with the intent to distribute cocaine. His sentencing hearing is presently scheduled for October 30, 2006. Pending before the Court are several motions. This order will address the following pending motions:

(1) Defendant's Vassar's Motion For A Presentence Hearing Conference To Determine Disputed And Contraverted [Sic] Sentencing Issues To For [Sic] Which the Court May Be Disqualified from Making Factual Findings. [Doc. 576].

(2) Defendant Vassar's Motion For Sentencing Discovery And Disclosures From The Court [Doc. 577].

(3) Defendant Vassar's Motion For Sentencing Discovery And Disclosures From The Government [Doc. 578].

(4) Defendant Vassar's Motion For Sentencing Discovery And Disclosures From The Presentence Officer [Doc. 579].

(5) Defendant Vassar's Motion For An Order To The United States Attorney To Deliver To The Court Documents And Reports Subpoened [Sic] For The Sentencing Hearing For The Defense To Inspect To Prepare For The Hearing [Doc. 581].

(6) United States' Motion To Quash Subpoena Dated October 1, 2006 To The United States Attorney [Doc. 583].

The Request for a "Pre-Sentence Hearing Conference"

As with many of the pleadings filed by counsel for Mr. Vassar, it is somewhat difficult to determine the specific relief sought by the defendant and even more difficult to determine the basis asserted therefore. Mr. Vassar's stated reason for his request for a presentence hearing conference is for the Court to "consider disputed and controverted sentencing matters asserted by the presentence officer [sic] and the government . . ." It appears to the Court that Mr. Vassar's request revolves around whether or not this Court will consider acquitted conduct in calculating the appropriate advisory guidelines sentencing range in this case.

The presentence report has been prepared by the Probation Office and disclosed to both parties in this case and both parties have been afforded the opportunity to file with the Court a sentencing memorandum setting forth their respective positions. A presentence hearing conference is, therefore, unnecessary and defendant's request will be DENIED.

Additionally, this Court does not generally render advisory opinions; however, because Mr. Vassar's counsel is either unfamiliar with, or pretends to be unfamiliar with, sentencing procedures to be employed by this Court and all other District Courts within the Sixth Circuit post-Booker, this Court will provide some guidance to the parties in order to permit them to better prepare for the sentencing hearing on October 30 and to more succinctly state their positions at that time.

The congressional mandate to this Court in sentencing is quite clear and is set out 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a). This Court is required to impose a sentence in this case that is "sufficient, but not greater than necessary, to comply with the purposes set forth in [§ 3553(a)(2)]". In determining a sufficient sentence in this and all other criminal cases, this Court must do several things. First of all, the Court must correctly calculate the guideline sentencing range, which, although advisory, is one of the factors to be considered pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(4). See 18 U.S.C. § 3742(f)(1); United States v. Gibson, 409 F. 3d 325, 338-39 (6th Cir. 2005). In order to calculate the advisory guideline sentencing range, the Court must make all findings of fact necessary to apply the guidelines to the defendant and as necessary to resolve the parties' objections to the calculation of the advisory guideline range in the presentence report.*fn1 United States v. Orlando, 281 F. 3d 586, 600-01 (6th Cir. 2002); See also United States v. Moreland, 437 F. 3d 324, 432 (3rd Cir. 2006). Once the guidelines sentencing range has been correctly calculated, the Court must determine whether to grant a downward departure or an upward departure from the guidelines range. See, e.g. United States v. McBride, 434 F. 3d 470, 474-75 (6th Cir. 2006). This Court must then consider the § 3553(a) factors, one of which is the advisory guidelines sentencing range, and exercise its independent judgment about what an appropriate sentence should be within the range of the relevant statutory minimum and maximum sentences. United States v. Booker, 43 U.S. 220 (2005); United States v. Van Hoosier, 442 F. 3d 939, 946 (6th Cir. 2006). The Court must then give a reasoned explanation for the sentence imposed. United States v. Jackson, 408 F. 3d 301, 305 (6th Cir. 2005).

Mr. Vassar states in his motion that "Vassar's sentencing defense is that he cannot be sentenced for acquitted conduct; . . ." The Court interprets this as an argument by the defendant that conduct for which he was acquitted by the jury can neither be considered in calculating the advisory guidelines sentencing range applicable to his case nor can it be considered by this Court in determining a sufficient sentence. Mr. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.