Sentencing/First Step Act – A defendant is not entitled to a de novo re-sentencing hearing upon requesting a reduced sentence under Section 404 of the First Step Act.
The defendant brought a motion for a reduced sentence under the First Step Act, and the Court granted his motion and re-sentenced him without a hearing.
On appeal, the Court rejected the defendant’s claim that he was entitled to a rehearing. The Court held that the First Step Act’s ” limited, discretionary authorization to impose a reduced sentence is inconsistent with a plenary re-sentencing.” Rather, the sentencing court was re-sentencing the defendant pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(B), which allows a court to modify a sentence only as “expressly permitted by statute or by Rule 35 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.” Moreover, Rule 43 of the federal Rules of Criminal Procedure state that a defendant need not be present at a re-sentencing if the proceeding “involves the correction or reduction of sentence under Rule 35 or 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c).”
While the defendant asserted that he would have argued for a further reduction at a de novo re-sentencing hearing based on his objections to the PSR and new facts related to his post-offense rehabilitation and medical condition, the Court noted that the defendant failed to raise these arguments in his initial motion for a reduction. Therefore, the court did not err by granting his motion for a reduction without a new hearing.
On appeal from the Western District of Michigan
Per Curiam opinion by Suhrheinrich, Cook, and Readler
Click here to read the opinion.