Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Court Sufficiently Considered First Step Act Arguments When Granting Partial Relief

US v. Webb: In 2006, Webb agreed to plead guilty to crack conspiracy and discharge of a firearm charges and was sentenced to the mandatory minimum 240-month sentence, a slight variance from the applicable Guideline range. In the wake of the First Step Act, Webb filed for relief and requested a new sentence at the now-applicable mandatory minimum of 180 months, arguing that such a sentence would be a variance of the same proportion as the court granted initially. The district court concluded that Webb was eligible for relief, but imposed a new sentence of 216 months in prison, concluding that while Webb had “come a long way” in prison and “accomplished a lot,” his offense was still serious and required severe punishment.

On appeal, the Fourth Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision. The court rejected Webb’s decision that the district court’s explanation of the new sentence imposed was insufficient, noting that it had acknowledged all of Webb’s mitigation arguments, but concluded they did not support the sentence Webb requested.

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