United States v. Dunn

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 09-06-2013
  • Case #: 12-10388
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge M.D. Smith for the Court; Circuit Court Judge O’Scannlain and District Court Judge Anello
  • Full Text Opinion

United States v. Colson is not clearly in conflict with Dillon v. United States because Dillon does not change Booker’s reasonableness standard and it was not “closely on point” to the jurisdictional question at issue.

Defendant Owen Dunn pled guilty to charges of possessing and distributing crack cocaine. Dunn was sentenced to 100-months in prison and he unsuccessfully tried to obtain a 17-month reduction of his sentence. The government argued that under Dillon v. United States the panel lacked jurisdiction and the case should be dismissed. The Ninth Circuit concluded that United States v. Colson is not clearly in conflict with Dillon because Dillon does not change United States v. Booker’s reasonableness standard and it was not “closely on point” to the jurisdictional question at issue. The panel said Dunn failed to show that the district court relied on “clearly erroneous findings of material fact” or that it applied the wrong law. The district court weighed the totality of the circumstances by considering Dunn’s extensive violent criminal history and completion of courses related to continuing education, anger management, drug education, self-awareness and cartoon drawing. The district court found that while completion of these courses are commendable “the safety of the community is best protected by the defendant serving the entirety of his original sentence.” The Ninth Circuit held that in denying Dunn’s reduction of sentence the district court did not abuse its discretion because relied on the facts and considered the factors under 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a). Also the Ninth Circuit held under United States v. Colson the panel has jurisdiction to review discretionary decision under § 3582(c)(2) and it is not “clearly irreconcilable” with Dillon. AFFIRMED.

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