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United States v. Navarro

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

September 4, 2015

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
JORGE AVILA ALBERTO NAVARRO, Defendant-Appellant

Submitted: August 11, 2015 [*], San Francisco, California

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California. D.C. No. 2:07 cr-0332 WBS-1. William B. Shubb, Senior District Judge, Presiding.

AFFIRMED.

SUMMARY[**]

Criminal Law

The panel affirmed the district court's denial of Jorge Avila Alberto Navarro's motion under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) for reduction of sentence based on Amendments 782 and 788 to the Sentencing Guidelines.

The panel held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in granting Navarro's motion under Fed. R. App. P. 4(b)(4) for an extension of time to file an appeal, and that the notice of appeal is therefore timely.

The panel held that a district court cannot apply a retroactive amendment to reduce an already imposed sentence prior to that amendment's effective date. The panel also held that the Sentencing Commission's determination of the appropriate effective date for a retroactive amendment is not invalid simply because the Commission made reference to prisoners' rehabilitative needs.

Rachel R. Goldberg and Tara Azad Amin, Sidley Austin LLP, Chicago, Illinois; Robin Eve Wechkin, Sidley Austin LLP, Seattle, Washington; Heather E. Williams, Federal Defender, and Hannah Labaree, Assistant Federal Defender, Sacramento, California, for Defendant-Appellant.

Benjamin B. Wagner, United States Attorney, Camil A. Skipper and Jason Hitt, Assistant United States Attorneys, Sacramento, California, for Plaintiff-Appellee.

Before: Stephen Reinhardt, A. Wallace Tashima, and Consuelo M. Callahan, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

TASHIMA, Circuit Judge:

In this appeal, we examine the scope of the United States Sentencing Commission's (the " Commission" ) authority to limit the retroactive effect of its amendments to its Sentencing Guidelines. We hold that a district court cannot apply a retroactive amendment to reduce an already imposed sentence prior to that amendment's effective date. We also hold that the Commission's determination of the appropriate effective date for a retroactive amendment is not invalid simply because the Commission made reference to prisoners' rehabilitative needs. We therefore affirm.

I.

A.

In 2008, Jorge Avila Alberto Navarro pled guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. At sentencing, the district court calculated the appropriate Guidelines range to be 151 to 188 months. On the government's motion, the district court imposed a below-Guidelines sentence of 113 months ...


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