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United States v. Anderson

United States District Court, Sixth Circuit

October 31, 2013

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
ROBERT ANTHONY ANDERSON, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

JOSEPH H. McKINLEY, Jr., , Chief District Judge.

Before the Court is a pro se motion filed by Defendant Robert Anthony Anderson seeking to reduce his sentence (DN 258). For the following reasons, the Court will deny Defendant's motion, which is another in a long series of attempts by Defendant to reduce his life sentence.

I.

In November of 1993, a jury convicted Defendant of trafficking in cocaine. Due to the volume of drugs involved and because of Defendant's previous drug convictions, a sentence of life imprisonment was statutorily mandated. 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(A). Defendant appealed, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed in January 1996. Defendant filed an unsuccessful challenge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255. The Sixth Circuit affirmed this Court's denial of that § 2255 motion. The Sixth Circuit denied Defendant permission to file a successive § 2255 motion in 2006. In 2008, Defendant filed another motion to reduce his sentence, which this Court found to be properly treated as another § 2255 motion and transferred to the Sixth Circuit. Defendant then filed a motion for relief from judgment under Fed.R.Civ.P. 60, which this Court found to be yet another application for authorization to file a second or successive § 2255 motion. Additional attempts to challenge his sentence followed.

In the instant motion (DN 258), Defendant requests that this Court modify his sentence pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) "based on (partial) of amendment (506)" and the unique circumstances of his case requiring reconsideration of Amendment 484. He also points to this Court's oral stipulations in this case that Defendant barely met the criteria for the enhancement of this crime, and he argues that there was an ex post facto violation in light of Peugh v. United States, 133 S.Ct. 2072 (2013). He further points to the Court's previous "variance" in this case, i.e., the Court's statement at sentencing that if it were within its power to depart downwards it would;[1] the Supreme Court's recent decisions in Alleyne v. United States, 133 S.Ct. 2151 (2013), and Freeman v. United States, 131 S.Ct. 2685 (2011); and his efforts toward rehabilitation. In response, the United States argues that Defendant does not qualify for relief under § 3582(c)(2) because the Court sentenced him to the statutory mandatory minimum and that § 3582(c) provides narrow relief only for a defendant who has been sentenced under a Guideline range subsequently lowered by the Sentencing Commission. The United States also argues that this Court should affirm its previous finding that Defendant does not have a valid Amendment 484 claim under § 3582(c)(2) under the law-of-the-case doctrine. Finally, the United States argues that Defendant's claim that Amendment 506 lowers his Guideline range is without merit because the Court sentenced Defendant to the statutory minimum which became his Guideline sentence, and thus Amendment 567 to the Guidelines (which replaced Amendment 506) cannot lower his Guideline range.

In his reply (DN 260), Defendant argues that in recent years the federal courts have been re-interpreting § 3582(c)(2) motions to relieve Defendants of even statutory mandatory minimum sentences. He also argues that the United States has misconstrued and misapplied Amendments 506 and 567 in his case. Finally, Defendant argues that, by remaining silent as to his other arguments presented in his motion, the United States has admitted their veracity.

II.

Section 3582(c) of Title 18 of the U.S. Code provides that the Court may not modify a term of imprisonment once it has been imposed except in limited circumstances. A defendant may move for a reduction in sentence under that statute only based on a lowering of the sentencing range by the Sentencing Commission. § 3582(c)(2).

In U.S.S.G. § 1B1.10, the Sentencing Commission identified the amendments that may be applied retroactively through § 3582(c)(2), and explained the "limited nature" of § 3582 relief. See United States v. Johnson, 564 F.3d 419, 422 (6th Cir. 2009). Section 1B1.10 provides:

(1) In General.-In a case in which a defendant is serving a term of imprisonment, and the guideline range applicable to that defendant has subsequently been lowered as a result of an amendment to the Guidelines Manual listed in subsection (c) below, the court may reduce the defendant's term of imprisonment as provided by 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2). As required by 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2), any such reduction in the defendant's term of imprisonment shall be consistent with this policy statement.
(2) Exclusions.-A reduction in the defendant's term of imprisonment is not consistent with this policy statement and therefore is not authorized under 18 U.S.C. 3582(c)(2) if-
(A) None of the amendments listed in subsection (c) is applicable to the defendant; or
(B) An amendment listed in subsection (c) does not have the effect of lowering the defendant's applicable guideline range.

U.S.S.G. § 1B1.10(a). The Application Note to this section explains that a retroactive amendment does not have the effect of lowering the defendant's applicable guidelines range where the defendant's original sentence was ...


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