US v. Jason Norman

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UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Originating case number: 5:07-cr-00011-RLV-DCK-4 Copies to all parties and the district court/agency. [998426138] [09-4190]

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US v. Jason Norman Doc. 0 Case: 09-4190 Document: 29 Date Filed: 09/16/2010 Page: 1 UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 09-4190 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. JASON WARD NORMAN, Defendant - Appellant. Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, at Statesville. Richard L. Voorhees, District Judge. (5:07-cr-00011-RLV-DCK-4) Submitted: August 2, 2010 Decided: September 16, 2010 Before MOTZ, DUNCAN, and AGEE, Circuit Judges. Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion. Claire J. Rauscher, Ann L. Hester, FEDERAL DEFENDERS OF WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA, INC., Charlotte, North Carolina, for Appellant. Edward R. Ryan, Acting United States Attorney, Mark A. Jones, Assistant United States Attorney, Charlotte, North Carolina, for Appellee. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. Dockets.Justia.com Case: 09-4190 Document: 29 Date Filed: 09/16/2010 Page: 2 PER CURIAM: Jason Ward Norman pled guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base and The On possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (crack). district court sentenced him to 168 months' imprisonment. appeal, Norman argues that the district court failed to address his arguments at sentencing of and the failed to provide as an they individualized apply to him. explanation We affirm. sentencing factors At sentencing, Norman contested the quantity of drugs that was attributed to him in the presentence report. The court heard testimony from the case agent and Norman and determined that the probation officer's calculation of approximately 3,859 grams of crack cocaine and 2,240 grams of powder cocaine was supported by a preponderance of the evidence. asked the court to consider all the Norman's attorney factors and sentencing "sentence [Norman] with leniency," considering his health, the fact that he was an addict, the level of his culpability, and his family support. The district court adopted the findings in the presentence report. therefore 168 to The applicable advisory guideline range was 210 months' imprisonment. The court then referenced United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220 (2005), and 18 U.S.C. 3553(a) (2006), and imposed a 168-month sentence. 2 The Case: 09-4190 Document: 29 Date Filed: 09/16/2010 Page: 3 court further stated that it "ha[d] not identified factors in [] 3553(a) that would mitigate the guideline range." The court also commented, "This case illustrates the demons of drugs as well as any in that the defendant found himself helpless and nevertheless continued to participate in activities which spread drugs about to others who would therefore be in similar circumstances to him." An appellate court reviews a sentence for reasonableness under an abuse-of-discretion standard. United States, 552 U.S. 38, 51 (2007). consideration of both the Id. Gall v. This review requires and substantive procedural reasonableness of a sentence. First, the court must assess whether the district court properly calculated the guidelines range, considered the 3553(a) factors, analyzed any arguments presented selected States v. by the parties, Gall, F.3d and 552 572, must sufficiently U.S. 576 at (4th explained see 2010) the sentence. Lynn, 592 49-50; Cir. every United ("[A]n individualized explanation accompany sentence."); United States v. Carter, 564 F.3d 325, 330 (4th Cir. 2009). Even if the sentence is procedurally reasonable, the court must consider the substantive reasonableness of the sentence, "examin[ing] the totality of the circumstances to see whether the sentencing court abused its discretion in concluding that the sentence it chose satisfied 3 the standards set forth in Case: 09-4190 Document: 29 Date Filed: 09/16/2010 Page: 4 3553(a)." United States v. Mendoza-Mendoza, 597 F.3d 212, 216 (4th Cir. 2010). Norman argues that his sentence is procedurally unreasonable because the district court did not consider the 3553(a) statement preserved factors of the how and the by failed factors arguing to provide in an his individualized case. court Norman for a applied in the issue district lenient sentence. The See Lynn, 592 F.3d at 577-78. court is not required to "robotically district tick through 3553(a)'s every subsection." Johnson, district 445 F.3d 339, 345 (4th on Cir. United States v. However, the 2006). an court must "place the record individualized assessment based on the particular facts of the case before it. This individualized assessment need not be elaborate or lengthy, but it must provide a rationale tailored to the particular case at hand and adequate to permit meaningful appellate review." Carter, 564 F.3d at 330 (internal quotation marks, footnote, and citation omitted). This is true even when the district court sentences a defendant within the applicable guidelines range. Id. An extensive explanation is not required as long as the appellate court is satisfied "`that [the district court] has considered the parties' arguments and has a reasoned basis for exercising [its] own legal decisionmaking authority.'" United States v. Engle, 592 F.3d 495, 500 (4th Cir. 2010) (quoting 4 Case: 09-4190 Document: 29 Date Filed: 09/16/2010 Page: 5 Rita v. United States, 551 U.S. 338, 356 (2007)), petition for cert. filed, 78 U.S.L.W. 3764 (U.S. 2010) (No. 09-1512). The district court properly calculated Norman's guidelines range. the dangers of In imposing sentence, the court commented on drugs, and illustrated those dangers by referencing Norman's particular case. We need not determine whether this constitutes an adequate explanation under Carter and Supreme Court law. the Rather, because the district for court explicitly mitigation considered of the 3553(a) and factors the potential court sentence, because district sentenced Norman to the lowest point in the applicable guideline range, we conclude that any error was harmless. See Lynn, 592 F.3d at 582; see also Rita, 551 U.S. at 359 ("Where . . . the record makes clear that the sentencing judge considered the evidence and arguments, we do not believe the law requires the judge to write more extensively."); United States v. Boulware, 604 F.3d 832, 838 (4th Cir. 2010) (procedural error is harmless if it "did on not the . of . have a substantial and we the and injurious with . effect . . or influence result . [the can[] say fair assurance[] consideration that district court's would explicit not have defendant's] arguments affected the sentence imposed"). Having procedural error, determined the court that next 5 there is no the reversible substantive considers Case: 09-4190 Document: 29 Date Filed: 09/16/2010 Page: 6 reasonableness of the sentence, taking into account the totality of the circumstances. Gall, 552 U.S. at 51. Because Norman's sentence is within the appropriate guidelines range, we presume on appeal that it is substantively reasonable. Go, 517 F.3d 216, 218 (4th Cir. 2008). United States v. The presumption may be rebutted by a showing "that the sentence is unreasonable when measured against the 3553(a) 375, factors." (4th Cir. not the United 2006) States v. Montes-Pineda, quotation 445 F.3d 379 (internal that court in marks omitted). we Norman hold has that or rebutted district presumption. committed no Accordingly, significant procedural substantive error sentencing Norman. sentence. legal before Accordingly, we affirm Norman's 168-month We dispense with oral argument because the facts and are and adequately argument presented not in aid the the materials decisional contentions the court would process. AFFIRMED 6

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