837 F.2d 291 (7th Cir. 1988), 87-1967, United States v. Crawley

Docket Nº:87-1967.
Citation:837 F.2d 291
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. John Allan CRAWLEY, Defendant-Appellant.
Case Date:January 07, 1988
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Page 291

837 F.2d 291 (7th Cir. 1988)

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

John Allan CRAWLEY, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 87-1967.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

January 7, 1988

Submitted Nov. 2, 1987.

David J. Ryan, Danville, Ill., for defendant-appellant.

Page 292

Frances C. Hulin, U.S. Atty. Office, Danville, Ill., for plaintiff-appellee.

Before POSNER, EASTERBROOK and KANNE, Circuit Judges.

POSNER, Circuit Judge.

In an unpublished order issued today, we affirm the district court's order revoking defendant Crawley's probation and sentencing him to three years in prison. This opinion is confined to the question whether, in United States v. Yancey, 827 F.2d 83, 89 (7th Cir.1987), a panel of this court changed the standard of proof in revocation cases. In United States v. Smith, 571 F.2d 370, 372 and n. 2 (7th Cir.1978), we had held that a district court may revoke probation if "reasonably satisfied" that the probationer has violated a condition of his probation. In United States v. Torrez-Flores, 624 F.2d 776, 781 (7th Cir.1980), we referred approvingly to the standard, although its propriety had not been put in issue in that case. Every other circuit to consider the question has adopted the "reasonably satisfied" standard. See, e.g., United States v. Rice, 671 F.2d 455, 458 (11th Cir.1982). However, in Yancey we said that the evidence presented in the revocation hearing that Yancey had violated a condition of his probation, although it "might not be sufficient to find Yancey guilty of the act charged in a criminal case, ... satisfies the requirement for proof by a preponderance necessary in probation revocation hearings." 827 F.2d at 89. Shortly afterward, without citing Yancey, we reiterated the "reasonably satisfied" standard, even remarking that "the district court went further than necessary when it evaluated the evidence before it under a preponderance-of-the-evidence standard." United States v. Warner, 830 F.2d 651, 655 (7th Cir.1987); see also United States v. Rife, 835 F.2d 154, 155 (7th Cir.1987). The district court applied the "reasonably satisfied" standard in this case, not the preponderance standard.

The statement in Yancey was a dictum, a term variously defined. We have defined dictum as "a statement in a judicial opinion that could have been deleted without seriously impairing the analytical foundations of...

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