6th Cir. Reverses 18-Month Sentence as Unreasonable

rehabilitation, drugs, remand, vacate, sentence, sentencing, due process
On October 11, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed an 18-month sentence imposed on a 71-year-old defendant who was addicted to drugs and had violated the terms of his supervised release.  The district court erroneously relied on an uncorroborated statement by the government that drug addicts required 18 months of therapy in order for their brain to “reset.”  Based on that, the district court imposed the 18-month sentence.  The Sixth Circuit found that the district court’s reliance on the uncorroborated statement of the government to have violated the defendant’s due process rights inasmuch as the statement was unreliable.  The Sixth Circuit also found that the sentence was unreasonable in light of U.S. Supreme Court precedent that it is impermissible for district courts to impose terms of incarceration on defendants in order to rehabilitate them (incarceration is never to be used to further rehabilitation by statute). A link to the case is here: https://cases.justia.com/federal/appellate-courts/ca6/16-2786/16-2786-2017-10-11.pdf?ts=1507737634  
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Mark Allenbaugh is co-founder of Sentencing Stats. He is a former staff attorney for the U.S. Sentencing Commission, and a co-editor of "Sentencing, Sanctions, and Corrections: Federal and State Law, Policy, and Practice" (2nd ed., Foundation Press, 2002).

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