United States v. Eduardo Gonzalez
Appeal Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, Case No. 07-16015

Tags No tags have been applied so far. Sign in to add some.
Request Update Request UpdateSpaceE-Mail Alert Get E-Mail Alerts

  Text Tab Overlap Citations (155) Tab Overlap Cited By (1) Right End
[DO NOT PUBLISH]
IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT FILED

U.S. COURT OF APPEALS
ELEVENTH CIRCUIT
No. 07-16015 OCT 17, 2008
Non-Argument Calendar THOMAS K. KAHN
CLERK

D. C. Docket No. 07-00134-CR-T-17EAJ
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Plaintiff-Appellee,
versus
EDUARDO GONZALEZ,
Defendant-Appellant.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida

(October 17, 2008)
Before TJOFLAT, BLACK and CARNES, Circuit Judges. PER CURIAM:

Eduardo Gonzalez appeals his 188-month sentence for possession of 500 or more grams of cocaine with the intent to distribute, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(B)(ii). His sole contention is that the district court enhanced his sentence in violation of the Sixth Amendment because it relied on past convictions that were neither included in the indictment nor proven to a jury. Specifically, Gonzalez argues that, under Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466, 120 S.Ct. 2346 (2000), any consideration of his prior convictions violates his Sixth Amendment rights. He also argues that, under Cunningham v. California, 549 U.S. 270, 127 S.Ct. 856 (2007), most judicial fact-finding that increases a sentence based on prior convictions violates the Sixth Amendment.

The Supreme Court has explicitly held that the government need not allege in its indictment nor prove beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury that a defendant had prior convictions in order for a district court to use those convictions to enhance a sentence. Almendarez-Torres v. United States, 523 U.S. 224, 226-27, 118 S.Ct. 1219, 1222 (1998). Further, in United States v. Shelton, 400 F.3d 1325, 1329 (11th Cir. 2005), we held that the decision in Almendarez-Torres was "left undisturbed" by the decisions in Apprendi, Blakey v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296, 124 S.Ct. 2531 (2004), and United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220, 125 S.Ct. 738 (2005), so that "a district court does not err by relying on prior convictions to enhance a defendant's sentence." [End Page 2]

The Supreme Court's Cunningham decision does not support Gonzalez's position. The Court did reiterate there that "the Federal Constitution's jury-trial guarantee proscribes a sentencing scheme that allows a judge to impose a sentence above the statutory maximum based on a fact, other than a prior conviction, not found by a jury or admitted by the defendant." Cunningham, 549 U.S. at __, 127 S.Ct. at 860 (emphasis added). The "other than" language preserves the Almendarez-Torres rule. Moreover, as the Supreme Court has reminded lower courts, its "decisions remain binding precedent until [it] see[s] fit to reconsider them, regardless of whether subsequent cases have raised doubts about their continuing vitality." Hohn v. United States, 524 U.S. 236, 252-53, 188 S.Ct. 1969, 1978 (1998).

AFFIRMED.

[End Page 3]

Space Space

Statistics

This case has been viewed 115 times.

No comments have been added yet. Sign in to post a comment.
Space
Issues Laws Cases Pro Articles Firms Entities
Issues Laws Cases Pro Articles Firms Entities
 
PlainSite
Sign Up
Need Password Help?