USA v. Darryl Vaughn
Opinion issued by court as to Appellant Darryl Vaughn. Decision: Affirmed. Opinion type: Non-Published. Opinion method: Per Curiam.
Date Filed: 08/20/2013
Page: 1 of 2
[DO NOT PUBLISH]
IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT
D.C. Docket No. 4:12-cr-00005-RH-CAS-2
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Northern District of Florida
(August 20, 2013)
Before HULL, PRYOR and MARTIN, Circuit Judges.
Darryl Vaughn appeals his mandatory sentence of life without parole, 21
U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(A)(viii), following his guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to
Date Filed: 08/20/2013
Page: 2 of 2
possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, id.
§§ 841(a)(1), 846. Vaughn argues that his mandatory sentence violates the
prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment, U.S.
Const. amend. VIII, because it was imposed without considering mitigating
evidence and is grossly disproportionate to his crime of conviction. We affirm.
The district court did not err. The Supreme Court has upheld the
constitutionality of statutes that provide for mandatory sentences of life
imprisonment without the possibility of parole for adult drug offenders. Harmelin
v. Michigan, 501 U.S. 957, 111 S. Ct. 2680 (1991). And we have upheld the
constitutionality of section 841(b)(1)(A) and other federal laws that provide for
mandatory sentences. United States v. Hoffman, 710 F.3d 1228, 1232 (11th Cir.
2013); United States v. Lopez, 649 F.3d 1222, 1248 (11th Cir. 2011); United States
v. Willis, 956 F.2d 248, 251 (11th Cir. 1992). “[O]utside the context of capital
punishment, there have been few successful challenges to the proportionality of
sentences” because we generally defer to “Congress’s broad authority to determine
the types and limits of punishments for crimes.” United States v. McGarity, 669
F.3d 1218, 1256 (11th Cir. 2012) (quoting United States v. Johnson, 451 F.3d
1239, 1242–43 (11th Cir. 2006)). Vaughn’s mandatory sentence did not violate the
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