United States v. Ruiz-Apolonio

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 09-14-2011
  • Case #: 10-50306
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Wardlaw for the Court; Circuit Judge Fletcher; District Judge Kavanaugh
  • Full Text Opinion

A sentencing court did not err when it denied variances requested by a defendant “to compensate for the inclusion of ‘recency’ points and the supposed differences between the Sentencing Commission’s and the Bureau of Prison’s methods for calculation good time credits.

Ruiz plead guilty to one count of forcible rape in 2007 and was deported to Mexico. Ruiz illegally reentered the United States in 2009, and in 2010 he plead guilty to one count of illegal reentry after deportation in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1326. The district court found that Ruiz’s forcible rape conviction constituted a “crime of violence” and therefore imposed a “16-level upward adjustment of the offense level, resulting in a total offense level of 21” and subsequently sentenced Ruiz to 46 months of imprisonment. Ruiz appeals, arguing that his sentence was substantively unreasonable. The Ninth Circuit holds that the district court did not “commit either procedural or substantive error by denying the variances Ruiz requested to compensate for the inclusion of ‘recency’ points and the supposed differences between the Sentencing Commission’s and Bureau of Prisons’ (“BOP”) methods for calculating good time credits, or by declining to explain why it rejected Ruiz’s arguments for the variances.” The Ninth Circuit reasoned that because the Sentencing Commission eliminated the addition of points due to recency of a prior sentence, recency points are “no longer included in the calculation of criminal history points. At the time Ruiz was sentenced, the district court was to “add 2 points if the defendant committed the instant offense less than two years after release from imprisonment...” Additionally, the Ninth Circuit reasoned that the court did not error by declining to give Ruiz a “variance to account for what he maintains is a difference between the way the Sentencing Commission and the BOP calculate good time credits because the Supreme Court has already held that the BOP’s “method of calculation reflected the most natural reading of the statute.” AFFIRMED.

Advanced Search