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United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. James Robert LEWIS, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 19-10099

Decided: November 25, 2019

Before: CANBY, TASHIMA, and CHRISTEN, Circuit Judges. Katherine M. Lloyd-Lovett, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Merry Jean Chan, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Jonas Lerman, Assistant U.S. Attorney, DOJ - U.S. Department of Justice, Northern District of California, San Francisco, CA, for Plaintiff - Appellee James Phillip Vaughns, Attorney, Law Offices of James P. Vaughns, Oakland, CA, for Defendant - Appellant


In these consolidated appeals, James Robert Lewis appeals from the district court’s judgment and challenges the 52-month sentence imposed following his guilty-plea conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), and the 24-month consecutive sentence imposed upon revocation of supervised release. We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, and we affirm.

Lewis contends that the district court impermissibly imposed a rule that the sentence could not be shorter than the 70-month sentence he previously received for the same offense, and thereby failed to make an individualized sentencing determination. However, the record reflects the district court was aware it could impose a lower sentence; the court considered and discussed Lewis’s mitigating arguments and the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) sentencing factors, and decided a higher sentence was warranted. See United States v. Carty, 520 F.3d 984, 992 (9th Cir. 2008) (en banc).

Lewis also argues that the aggregate 76-month sentence is substantively unreasonable. The district court did not abuse its discretion. See id. at 993. The sentence is substantively reasonable in light of the section 3553(a) sentencing factors and the circumstances of this case. See United States v. Gutierrez-Sanchez, 587 F.3d 904, 908-09 (9th Cir. 2009) (in light of the defendant’s criminal history, the district court did not abuse its discretion by emphasizing the need for deterrence); see also United States v. Simtob, 485 F.3d 1058, 1063 (9th Cir. 2007) (a defendant who violates supervised release by committing an offense similar to his previous offense may require greater sanctions).


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