United States v. Taylor, No. 18-1108

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
PartiesUNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. REANNE S. TAYLOR, Defendant-Appellant.
Decision Date26 November 2018
Docket NumberNo. 18-1108

REANNE S. TAYLOR, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 18-1108

United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit

Argued November 14, 2018
November 26, 2018

To be cited only in accordance with Fed.
R. App. P. 32.1

Before FRANK H. EASTERBROOK, Circuit Judge DIANE S. SYKES, Circuit Judge MICHAEL Y. SCUDDER, Circuit Judge

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin.

No. 3:06-cr-8

William M. Conley, Judge.


Reanne Taylor violated conditions of supervised release, and at her revocation hearing the district court sentenced her to 24 months' imprisonment. On appeal she argues that the district judge interrupted her lawyer repeatedly and, as a result, failed to consider her mitigating argument that she cooperated with law enforcement. The sentencing transcript belies Taylor's contention and shows that the district court did consider her mitigating argument. Accordingly, we affirm.

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Taylor was indicted in 2006 for conspiring to distribute methamphetamine and for possessing it with the intent to distribute, 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), 846. She pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge, and the district judge sentenced her to 180 months' imprisonment and 5 years' supervised release. United States v. Briesemeister, 273 F. App'x 534, 536, 538 (7th Cir. 2008). This court affirmed that judgment. See id. at 536.

The district judge later reduced Taylor's sentence twice. The first time came in 2011, after Taylor cooperated with the United States Attorney's office for the District of Minnesota and helped them charge a former associate. At the government's request, the judge resentenced Taylor to 135 months' imprisonment. Then, in 2014, after Taylor had completed 75% of her sentence with good behavior, she moved for a reduced sentence under Amendment 782, a retroactive revision to the Sentencing Guidelines that lowered the base offense levels for most drug crimes. The district court granted her motion and reduced her sentence a second time.

Taylor served her supervised release term until she was arrested in Minnesota for check forgery in 2017. At her revocation hearing, the district court refrained from making specific findings about the Minnesota charge because Taylor's case was still pending, but the judge did find that Taylor had violated several other conditions of supervised release. Specifically, Taylor failed to notify the probation office within 72 hours of being arrested or questioned by law enforcement, left her residence without the approval of her probation officer, did not provide the probation office with a valid updated address, and failed to submit monthly supervision reports to her probation officer. The district court therefore revoked Taylor's supervised release and sentenced her to 6 months' imprisonment, to be followed by 24 months of supervised release.

Almost as soon as Taylor was back on supervised release, she violated yet again. She failed to participate in substance-abuse treatment or go to a residential treatment center as required. She also was arrested a second time in Minnesota, this time for falsely identifying herself to law enforcement.

At the ensuing revocation hearing, the district court noted the policy-statement range of 5 to 11 months' reimprisonment, as well as the statutory maximum sentence of 54 months. See USSG §§ 7B1.1(a)(3), 7B1.4; 18 U.S.C. § 3583(h). The government recommended a sentence within the range suggested by the Chapter 7 policy statements, with no supervision to follow because Taylor had demonstrated trouble with compliance and had rejected "multiple opportunities" to address her substance-

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abuse problems. Defense counsel first argued that Taylor should not be held accountable for failing to go to the residential center because she was put on the wrong bus, sent to the wrong state, and did not know to whom she should report. And her failure to follow the conditions was merely a "totally immature decision."

Defense counsel then raised the mitigating argument at issue in this appeal—that Taylor contacted unspecified "law enforcement" in Minnesota and cooperated in the government's effort to indict other people engaged in drug activity. The district judge responded that because he was not going to consider the crimes Taylor committed in Minnesota as a mark against her, he likewise would not consider "some offsetting facts," such as the fact that she was cooperating. The judge continued, "I certainly strongly encourage [cooperation] ... but it's not before me today." Next, the judge informed counsel...

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