United States Third Circuit

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US v. Berberena, 11-4540

The district court's denial of defendants' motions for a sentence reduction to reflect amendments to the United States Sentencing Guidelines that narrow the disparity between sentences for crack cocaine and powder cocaine offenses, is affirmed where: 1) defendants' argument that the Commission exceeded its statutory authority by prohibiting courts from reducing a prisoner's sentence below the amended Guidelines range except to reflect substantial assistance is without merit; 2) the Commission's retention of the "tiniest sliver" of authority to restrict courts proceeding under section 3582(c)(2) fully comports with separation of powers principles; and 3) given that the Commission is not obligated to abide by the APA's notice-and-comment provisions when issuing policy statements, the adequacy of the notice-and-comment procedures it used to revise section 1B1.10's limitation on sentence reductions need not be addressed.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 09/11/2012
  • Published 09/11/2012

Judges

  • Rendell

Court

  • United States Third Circuit

Counsel