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United States v. Thompson

United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
190 F.Supp.2d 138 (2002)


Facts

Thompson (defendant) pled guilty to distribution of crack cocaine and was sentenced by the district court in Thompson I, 74 F.Supp.2d 69 (D. Mass. 1999) to 60 months imprisonment, instead of 77 months, based on extraordinary family circumstances. In Thompson I, the district judge evaluated presentence reports (PSRs) of all defendants convicted of crack cocaine distribution and concluded that Thompson’s “extraordinary family circumstances” included growing up in housing projects, barely knowing his father who was in and out of prison, only being 24-years-old at the time of the sentencing, and had never before been incarcerated. Thompson had dropped out of high school when he got his girlfriend pregnant and subsequently had maintained solid employment to support his girlfriend-turned-fiancé until the day of his arrest on the drug charge. While in prison, Thompson was a model prisoner. He took every course available and did everything possible to better himself. Thompson’s 60-month sentence was vacated by the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Thompson II. There, the appellate court held that the proper approach to determine a sentence was for the district judge to compare any given defendant to all defendants and not those similarly situated with respect to the offense of conviction and remanded the matter to the district court for re-sentencing.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Gertner, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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