USA v. Amire Smith
Per Curiam OPINION filed : AFFIRMED, decision not for publication. Richard Allen Griffin, Circuit Judge; Jane Branstetter Stranch, Circuit Judge and George C. Steeh, U.S. District Judge., EDM
NOT RECOMMENDED FOR FULL-TEXT PUBLICATION
File Name: 15a0160n.06
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
AMIRE T. SMITH,
Mar 02, 2015
DEBORAH S. HUNT, Clerk
ON APPEAL FROM THE UNITED
STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR
THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF
BEFORE: GRIFFIN and STRANCH, Circuit Judges; STEEH, District Judge.
PER CURIAM. Amire T. Smith appeals the district court’s judgment of conviction and
Smith pleaded guilty to possessing with intent to distribute more than 28 grams of
cocaine base, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1), and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a
drug trafficking crime, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c).
Because Smith’s drug offense
involved more than 28 grams of cocaine base, he was subject to a 60-month statutory minimum
prison term under 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(B)(iii).
The district court sentenced Smith to
consecutive 60-month prison terms.
On appeal, Smith argues that his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance by failing to
argue that the government selectively prosecuted him on account of his race by charging him
with a drug crime that carried a statutory minimum sentence. Smith contends that the charge
The Honorable George Caram Steeh III, United States District Judge for the Eastern
District of Michigan, sitting by designation.
United States v. Smith
was improper based on a memorandum issued by the Attorney General that directed federal
prosecutors to refrain from charging the drug quantity necessary to trigger a mandatory
minimum sentence where a defendant meets each of several specific criteria, including that the
defendant’s relevant conduct does not involve the possession of a weapon and the defendant does
not have a significant criminal history.
Although we generally will not review an ineffective-assistance claim on direct appeal,
we choose to do so here because the parties have adequately developed the record relevant to
Smith’s claim. See United States v. Ferguson, 669 F.3d 756, 762 (6th Cir. 2012). To prevail on
his ineffective-assistance claim, Smith must show that his counsel performed deficiently and that
he suffered prejudice as a result. See Dawson v. United States, 702 F.3d 347, 350 (6th Cir.
To demonstrate selective prosecution based on race, a defendant must show that
prosecutorial policy was motivated by a discriminatory purpose and that similarly situated
individuals of another race were treated differently. United States v. Armstrong, 517 U.S. 456,
465 (1996); United States v. Lawrence, 735 F.3d 385, 439 (6th Cir. 2013), cert. denied, 135 S.
Ct. 753 (2014).
Smith’s counsel did not perform deficiently by failing to argue that Smith was selectively
prosecuted because the argument is meritless. Smith has presented no evidence showing that the
prosecutor’s charging decision was motivated by a discriminatory purpose or that similarly
situated defendants of another race were treated differently.
In addition, given Smith’s
significant criminal history and the fact that his crimes involved a firearm, he did not satisfy each
of the criteria that were identified by the Attorney General as a basis for declining to charge an
offense with a mandatory minimum sentence.
Accordingly, we affirm the district court’s judgment.
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