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. Davidson

United States District Court, E.D. Tennessee

May 2, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
RICHARD EUGENE DAVIDSON, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          THOMAS A. VARLAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This criminal case is before the Court on defendant's motion for a sentence reduction [Doc. 293]. In defendant's motion, defendant requests that the Court resentence him pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) and in accordance with Amendment 782 and Amendment 788 to the United States Sentencing Guidelines Manual. The government has responded [Doc. 295]. The government defers to the Court's discretion whether and to what extent to grant any such reduction, subject to the limitations of 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) and section 1B1.10 of the United States Sentencing Guidelines Manual.

         Defendant has also filed a pro se motion styled “MOTION to Dismiss Counts for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction Pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) and for Summary Judgment and Immediate Release Pursuant to Rule 56(c)” [Doc. 294]. The government has not responded to that motion.

         Each motion will be addressed in turn. For the reasons that follow, defendant's motion to reduce his sentence will be granted, and the other motion will be denied.

         I. Sentence Reduction Under Amendment 782

         “Federal courts are forbidden, as a general matter, to modify a term of imprisonment once it has been imposed, but the rule of finality is subject to a few narrow exceptions.” Freeman v. United States, 131 S.Ct. 3685, 2690 (2011) (internal citation and quotation marks omitted). One exception is identified in 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2):

[I]n the case of a defendant who has been sentenced to a term of imprisonment based on a sentencing range that has subsequently been lowered by the Sentencing Commission . . ., the court may reduce the term of imprisonment, after considering the factors set forth in section 3553(a) to the extent that they are applicable, if such a reduction is consistent with applicable policy statements issued by the Sentencing Commission.

         The United States Supreme Court has interpreted § 3582(c)(2) as setting forth two requirements for a sentence reduction. First, “the defendant [must] ha[ve] been sentenced to a term of imprisonment based on a sentencing range that has subsequently been lowered by the Sentencing Commission[.]” United States v. Riley, 726 F.3d 756, 758 (6th Cir. 2013) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). Second, “such reduction [must be] consistent with applicable policy statements issued by the Sentencing Commission.” Id. (internal quotation marks omitted). If the reviewing court determines that the defendant is eligible for a sentence reduction, then “[t]he court may then ‘consider whether the authorized reduction is warranted, either in whole or in part, according to the factors set forth in § 3553(a).'” United States v. Thompson, 714 F.3d 946, 949 (6th Cir. 2013) (quoting Dillon v. United States, 560 U.S. 817, 826 (2010)).

         In determining whether a defendant has been sentenced to a term of imprisonment based on a sentencing range that has subsequently been lowered by the Sentencing Commission, the Court must first determine “the amended guideline range that would have been applicable to the defendant had the relevant amendment been in effect at the time of the initial sentencing.” Dillon, 560 U.S. at 827 (internal quotation marks and citation omitted); see also U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual § 1B1.10(b)(1). Other than substituting Amendment 782 for the corresponding provision applicable when the defendant was originally sentenced, the Court “shall leave all other guideline application decisions unaffected.” Id. And the Court “shall not” reduce a defendant's term of imprisonment to a term “less than the minimum of the amended guideline range, ” nor to a term “less than the term of imprisonment the defendant has already served.” Id. § 1B1.10(b)(2)(A), (C). In addition to these limits, section 1B1.10 states that a court must also consider the § 3553 factors and the danger to the public created by any reduction in a defendant's sentence. Id. at cmt. n.1(B). A court may further consider a defendant's post-sentencing conduct. Id.

         A. Background

         Defendant was convicted by jury trial of six counts of distributing cocaine base, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(B), and (b)(1)(C); one count of distributing cocaine hydrochloride, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(C), and two counts of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) [Doc. 224]. He was held responsible for 28.8 grams of cocaine base and 6.1 grams of cocaine hydrochloride, for a combined marijuana equivalent of 577.22 kilograms and offense level of 26 [Presentence Investigation Report (“PSR”) ¶¶ 25, 31, 38]. Given defendant's criminal history category of III, the corresponding guidelines range for the drug offenses was 78 to 97 months' imprisonment.

         The Court ultimately sentenced defendant to an aggregate term of 378 months, consisting of 78 months for the drug offenses, followed by the consecutive mandatory minimums for the firearms offenses. (R. 224, Judgment with Statement of Reasons. According to the Bureau of Prisons, defendant is presently scheduled for release on July 16, 2036 [Doc. 295].

         B. Analysis

         Amendment 782 to the Guidelines, which became effective on November 1, 2014, revised the Guidelines applicable to drug-trafficking offenses by reducing by two levels the offense levels assigned to the drug quantities described in section 2D1.1. U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual App. C, amend. 782. Amendment 782 also makes corresponding changes to section 2D1.11. Amendment 788, which became effective on November ...


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.