With its holding, the Supreme Court clarified how state and federal sentences should `fit together’.
New York, New York (PRWEB) June 25, 2013
Federal appeals lawyer Stephen N. Preziosi is focusing on Setser v. United States,132 S. Ct. 1463 in the latest installment of his look at key cases that have defined current United States Sentencing Guidelines (U.S.S.G.). The case affirmed that it was reasonable for a District Court, in the absence of evidence suggesting an abuse of discretion or flawed decision-making, to order a federal sentence to be served consecutive to an anticipated state sentence.
The petitioner Setser was serving a 5-year probation term for a drug-related conviction when he pled guilty to possession of methamphetamine (a.k.a. crystal meth). While Texas state authorities moved to revoke his probation, he received a 151-month federal sentence with the condition that it would run consecutively with any state sentence as a result of the probation violation, and concurrent with any state sentence related to the new drug charge.
Setser appealed, and while his petition was pending, the state imposed a 5-year prison term for the probation violation, and a 10-year prison term for the new drug charge -- and ordered both to be served consecutively.
Setset appealed again, this time on the basis that the District Court had no legal authority to impose a consecutive sentence, and that the federal sentence was unreasonable given that it was impossible to implement it due to the concurrent state sentences.
The Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and ultimately the Supreme Court in 6-3 majority decision, affirmed the decision, noting that there was nothing in statute to limits a federal judge’s authority to make such a decision, nor was there any abuse of discretion.
“With its holding, the Supreme Court clarified how state and federal sentences should `fit together’ in a manner that is consistent with the long-held view that judges should be given broad discretion with respect to choosing whether sentences should run consecutively or concurrently – even when sentences were or are not imposed at the same time, as was the case with Setser,” commented Federal appeals lawyer Stephen N. Preziosi. “Ultimately, the reasonableness standard was affirmed as being one where there is no evidence of the District Court abusing its discretion, and there is no evidence of an error in the District Court’s decision-making process.”
Mr. Preziosi’s full analysis of Setser v. United States,132 S. Ct. 1463 is available on his firm’s website at http://www.newyorkappellatelawyer.com/federal-sentence-may-be-consecutive-to-anticipated-state-sentence/
For more information or media inquiries, email newyorkappellatelawyer(at)gmail(dot)com or phone (212) 300-3845.
Federal appeals lawyer Stephen N. Preziosi handles criminal appeals in all U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals and in New York State Appellate Courts (including Appellate Divisions and the New York Court of Appeals). Whether a case is under the Penal Law in New York State Courts or under Federal Law in the U.S. District Courts, Mr. Preziosi has extensive experience with all types of appellate matters in both the New York State Courts and the Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal. Mr. Preziosi has pursued appellate cases in the Appellate Divisions, the Appellate
Terms and the highest court in the State of New York, the New York Court of Appeals. He has also taken on cases in the various U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals, and successfully identified legal issues, designed and written briefs and conducted oral argument. The firm’s practice is concentrated in the area of appeals in criminal matters in both State and Federal Courts, and Mr. Preziosi recently launched a United States Sentencing Guidelines (USSG) awareness campaign to help the general public learn more about this critically important and influential aspect of criminal law.
Learn more at http://www.newyorkappellatelawyer.com.