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United States v. Cavera
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
550 F.3d 180 (2d Cir. 2008) (en banc)
Gerard Cavera (defendant) sold 16 firearms to a confidential informant from New York City via two intermediaries. Cavera pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to deal in and transport firearms and was sentenced to an above-guidelines sentence. The guidelines called for a sentence of 12 to 18 months’ imprisonment and a fine between $3,000 and $30,000. The judge imposed a sentence of 24 months’ imprisonment and a $60,000 fine. The sentencing judge found that the sentencing guidelines had failed to factor in the need for more severe punishment for firearms traffickers who transported firearms into high-density urban areas. The judge relied on sentencing factors set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) for his above-guidelines sentence. He found that Cavera’s offense was more serious because the firearms were destined for New York City, where gun violence was worse than the national average. He also found that firearms trafficking was more profitable in New York City, so the need for general deterrence was greater. Further, the judge factored in Cavera’s advanced age to Cavera’s benefit. Cavera appealed, and a circuit-court panel held that the sentence was unreasonable. The circuit court judges voted to rehear the case en banc.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Calabresi, J.)
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