from the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Kentucky at Lexington. No. 5:02-cr-00089-1-Joseph
M. Hood, District Judge.
BRIEF AND RESPONSE:
M. Hyman, Karen R. King, PAUL, WEISS, RIFKIND, WHARTON &
GARRISON LLP, New York, New York, for Appellant.
MOTION TO REMAND:
Patrick Grant, Charles P. Wisdom, Jr., UNITED STATES
ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Lexington, Kentucky, for Appellee.
Before: MOORE, SUTTON, and NALBANDIAN, Circuit Judges.
A. Beamus moved for resentencing under the First Step Act of
2018. But his career-offender status under the Sentencing
Guidelines, the district court ruled, made him ineligible.
That was wrong. Beamus's extensive criminal history, to
be sure, may have something to say about the prudence of
granting his resentencing request. But it has nothing to say
about his eligibility for it. We reverse and remand.
2002, a jury convicted Beamus of conspiracy to possess 6.68
grams of crack cocaine with intent to distribute, 21 U.S.C.
§ 841(b)(1)(B) (2002), along with several related
firearms offenses, 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1),
924(c)(1)(A)(i). This was not Beamus's first encounter
with the criminal laws. He had other prior convictions,
ranging from the minor (misdemeanor unauthorized use of a
motor vehicle) to the major (felony first-degree
manslaughter) to many more in between.
presentence report first calculated Beamus's guidelines
range. It noted that the guidelines range for conspiracy to
possess crack cocaine is typically set by U.S.S.G. §
2D1.1. But because of his criminal history, the guidelines
range came from the "career offender" guideline,
§ 4B1.1, not the crack cocaine guideline, § 2D1.1.
That mattered. Under the crack cocaine guideline,
Beamus's guidelines range would have been 120 to 150
months. But because the career offender guideline applied
instead, his range became 360 months to life.
presentence report then calculated Beamus's statutory
range. Because he was convicted of conspiracy to possess over
five grams of cocaine, that meant his punishment was set by
21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(B) (2002). For first time
offenders, that required a sentence of 60 to 480 months. But
because the government filed an information under 21 U.S.C.
§ 851, his criminal history also came into play. As a
result, he received a higher statutory range under §
841: 120 months to life.
judge embraced the findings of the presentence report and
settled on a 420-month sentence. Of that penalty, 360 months
were for conspiracy to possess crack cocaine (served
concurrently with 360 months for a related firearm offenses),
while the other 60 months were for another related firearm
offense, served consecutively, as required by statute.
legal developments since Beamus's sentencing potentially
affect his appeal.
range reduction. The first development is that the
Sentencing Commission has lowered the guidelines range
imposed for crack cocaine offenses under § 2D1.1 several
times. See, e.g., U.S.S.G. amends. 706, 750.
Defendants sentenced under the old guidelines may seek
resentencing using 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2). That
provision states that when a defendant "has been
sentenced . . . based on a sentencing range that has
subsequently been lowered by the Sentencing Commission,"
a court "may reduce the term of imprisonment," ...