USA v. Benjamin Mason


UNPUBLISHED OPINION FILED. [14-10067 Affirmed ] Judge: JES , Judge: JLW , Judge: JWE Mandate pull date is 11/18/2014 for Appellant Benjamin Mason; denying motion to substitute counsel filed by Appellant Mr. Benjamin Mason [7701951-2] [14-10067]

Download PDF
Case: 14-10067 Document: 00512817586 Page: 1 Date Filed: 10/28/2014 IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT No. 14-10067 Summary Calendar United States Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit FILED October 28, 2014 Lyle W. Cayce Clerk UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff−Appellee, versus BENJAMIN MASON, Also Known as Chi, Defendant−Appellant. Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas No. 4:13-CR-77 Before SMITH, WIENER, and ELROD, Circuit Judges. PER CURIAM: * Benjamin Mason appeals the 240-month sentence for his guilty-plea conviction of bank robbery. The sentence is an upward departure from the guideline range pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 4A1.3 or an upward variance pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a). Mason complains that the sentence is substantively Pursuant to 5TH CIR. R. 47.5, the court has determined that this opinion should not be published and is not precedent except under the limited circumstances set forth in 5TH CIR. R. 47.5.4. * Case: 14-10067 Document: 00512817586 Page: 2 Date Filed: 10/28/2014 No. 14-10067 unreasonable because the district court disregarded the sentencing disparity between him and his fellow bank robbers, afforded excessive weight to his criminal history, and failed properly to consider his acceptance of responsibility. We review sentences for substantive reasonableness, in light of the § 3553(a) factors, under an abuse-of-discretion standard. Gall v. United States, 552 U.S. 38, 49−51 (2007). The record confirms that the district court listened to counsel’s arguments and made an individualized assessment based on Mason’s personal history and characteristics; the seriousness of the underlying offense; and the need to promote respect for the law, to provide just punishment, to afford adequate deterrence, and to protect the public. See id.; § 3553(a)(1), (2). Mason’s challenge is no more than a disagreement with the district court’s balancing of the § 3553(a) factors, an analysis that that court was in a better position to perform than are we and to which we accord great deference. United States v. Hernandez, 633 F.3d 370, 375 (5th Cir. 2011). Mason has not shown that the decision to sentence him above the advisory range was “a clear error of judgment in balancing the sentencing factors.” United States v. Smith, 440 F.3d 704, 708 (5th Cir. 2006). As for the increase to 240 months from the 188-month top of the range, this court has upheld variances and departures greater than this increase. See United States v. Brantley, 537 F.3d 347, 348−50 (5th Cir. 2008); United States v. Jones, 444 F.3d 430, 433, 441−42 (5th Cir. 2006). The district court acted within its discretion. See Hernandez, 633 F.3d at 375. The judgment of sentence is AFFIRMED. Mason’s pro se motion for substitution of counsel is DENIED because, inter alia, it was filed after counsel’s brief and is thus untimely. Cf. United States v. Wagner, 158 F.3d 901, 902−03 (5th Cir. 1998). To the extent that Mason complains that his appointed counsel was ineffective, that matter is not appropriate to be addressed on direct appeal. 2

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?