Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Hall

United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Alexandria Division

March 28, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
MELANIE HALL

          PEREZ-MONTES, MAG. JUDGE

          MEMORANDUM RULING AND ORDER

          DEE D. DRELL, JUDGE

         Before the court is a motion for reduction of sentence filed by Melanie Hall on September 6, 2016. (Doc. 202).

         Hall was sentenced by the undersigned to serve a seventy-eight (78) month imprisonment sentence to be followed by a three (3) year term of supervised release for the offense of Conspiracy to Distribute Narcotics - Methamphetamine on December 18, 2015. Hall is currently serving her imprisonment sentence at Aliceville FCI and her projected release date is September 15, 2021.

         Hall argues that she is entitled to a reduction in sentence based on newly amended United States Sentencing Guideline §3B1.1 which provides an adjustment for a defendant who did not have a proprietary interest in the criminal activity but was simply being paid to perform certain tasks. Hall contends that the new §3B1.1 language is retroactive and she meets the five factors the court should consider in determining the applicability of a minor role reduction:

1) The degree to which the petitioner understood the scope and structure of the criminal activity;
2) The degree in which the petitioner participated in planning or organizing the criminal activity;
3) The degree in which the petitioner exercised decision [sic] making authority;
4) The nature and extent of participating in the commission of the criminal activity including the acts the petitioner performed and the responsibility of discretion the petitioner had in performing those acts; [and]
5) The degree in which the petitioner stood to benefit from the criminal activity. (Doc. 202).

         In considering Hall's argument, the court finds Guideline §3B1.2 applies to what Hall refers to as the minor role reduction, not §3B 1.1.[1] Additionally, while a new edition of the United States Sentencing Commission Guidelines was issued after Hall was sentenced[2], the court does not find that the content of either §§3B1.1 or 3B1.2 to be new or retroactive. The only change to the relevant part of the November 1, 2015 U.S Sentencing Commission Guidelines Manual can be found in the Commentary section of §3B1.2. Specifically, Application Note 3(C).

         Application Note 3 (C) was amended in 2015 to provide a non-exhaustive list of factors for a court's consideration when determining the applicability of a mitigating role adjustment. The non-exhaustive list includes the five factors noted by Hall and set forth above.

         The revised commentary also emphasized that the mere fact that a defendant performed an "essential" or "indispensable" role in the criminal activity was not a conclusive factor in determining whether to apply a mitigating role in adjustment and that such defendant, if otherwise eligible, may receive a mitigating role adjustment. The Fifth Circuit has gone further, concluding that the defendant must demonstrate that he or she played only a peripheral role in receiving any mitigating role adjustment, even the 2-level minor participant reduction.

         After careful analysis of the §§3B1.1 and 3B1.2 adjustment, there is nothing that indicates the newly included language in the comment is retroactive. Even if it is, Hall's role and involvement in the conspiracy would still disqualify her from receiving any type of mitigating role reduction. According to the investigative material and presentence report, Hall actively assisted in the distribution. Not only did she allow methamphetamine to be stored at her residence, but she also conducted hand to hand transactions at her ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.