United States v. Petri

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Sentencing
  • Date Filed: 02-08-2013
  • Case #: 11-30337
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Tallman for the Court; Circuit Judges Schroeder and McKeown
  • Full Text Opinion

Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure Rule 32(i)(3)(B) requires a district court to address only unresolved factual objections to the presentence report. When explaining a sentence, the district court does not need to address every assertion made within each argument presented during sentencing.

Defendant Dan Petri pled guilty to Bank Fraud, Conspiracy to Commit Access Device Fraud, and Aggravated Identity Theft. The district court imposed a sentence below the minimum cited in the Guidelines, and Petri appealed, requiring the Court to, for the first time, determine whether the 2002 amendment to Rule 32 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure represented an expansion of the district court’s fact-finding responsibilities at sentencing. After examining the rule’s context, structure, and history, the Court found strong evidence that the amendment was intended to narrow the rule’s scope to only those factual objections to the presentence report that have the potential to affect the sentence. Rejecting Petri’s argument that Rule 32 broadens the court’s fact-finding responsibility beyond the report, the Court found that the amendment signaled an attempt to narrow those disputes within the presentence report on which the district court must make a ruling. Because the arguments Petri raised at sentencing did not contain any factual assertion in the presentence report, they did not invoke the district court’s fact-finding responsibility under Rule 32. In addition, the district court properly considered the presentence report and the parties’ arguments and provided an adequate explanation for imposing its sentence. The district court is not required to detail its evaluation of every assertion made to support a defendant’s argument during sentencing. AFFIRMED.

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