739 F.3d 1080 (7th Cir. 2014), 13-1468, United States v. Washington

Docket Nº:13-1468.
Citation:739 F.3d 1080
Opinion Judge:SYKES, Circuit Judge.
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Amono WASHINGTON, Defendant-Appellant.
Attorney:Neal Cho Hong, Attorney, Office of the United States Attorney, Fairview Heights, IL, for Plaintiff-Appellee. Jonathan E. Hawley, Federal Public Defender, Office of the Federal Public Defender, Peoria, IL, Peter W. Henderson, Attorney, Office of the Federal Public Defender, Urbana, IL, for Defenda...
Judge Panel:Before FLAUM, SYKES, and TINDER, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:January 17, 2014
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
 
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Page 1080

739 F.3d 1080 (7th Cir. 2014)

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

Amono WASHINGTON, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 13-1468.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit.

January 17, 2014

Argued Dec. 17, 2013.

Neal Cho Hong, Attorney, Office of the United States Attorney, Fairview Heights, IL, for Plaintiff-Appellee.

Jonathan E. Hawley, Federal Public Defender, Office of the Federal Public Defender, Peoria, IL, Peter W. Henderson,

Page 1081

Attorney, Office of the Federal Public Defender, Urbana, IL, for Defendant-Appellant.

Before FLAUM, SYKES, and TINDER, Circuit Judges.

SYKES, Circuit Judge.

Amono Washington pleaded guilty to attempting to possess cocaine with intent to distribute and was sentenced to a term of 97 months in prison. In imposing that sentence, the judge said only that he had " considered all the factors of 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)" and that the crime was " serious." Although the case is straightforward and the sentence is within the sentencing guidelines range, this truncated explanation for the 97-month term is insufficient. Accordingly, we vacate the sentence and remand for resentencing.

I. Background

In March 2010 DEA agents arrested Washington at the home of a suspected drug dealer they had been investigating. The agents seized approximately 1.765 kilograms of cocaine from the residence. Washington admitted that he was attempting to purchase that cocaine.

Washington was indicted on a single count of attempting to possess cocaine with intent to distribute, see 21 U.S.C. §§ 846, 841(a)(1), and pleaded guilty as charged. At sentencing the district court calculated a sentencing guidelines range of 97 to 121 months' imprisonment and sentenced Washington to 97 months, the bottom of that range. To explain the sentence, the judge said only that he had " considered all the factors of 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)" and noted that Washington had been " involved in a serious crime, a serious crime in the sense of what it is doing to so many people in our society, not only the dealing of the drugs, but also the using of them." The court also imposed a $500 fine. The presentence report stated that Washington did not have the financial ability to pay a fine immediately, but concluded that he would be able to pay a fine at a later date through the Inmate Financial Responsibility Program or while on supervised...

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