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United States of America v. Kenji Lequient Darling

December 19, 2011

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
KENJI LEQUIENT DARLING, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Stephan P. Mickle Senior United States District Judge

ORDER

This cause comes before the Court on defendant's motion (doc. 95) for a sentence reduction based on an amendment to the Sentencing Guidelines, Amendment 750, that became effective November 1, 2011. The government filed a response (doc. 96). A review of the record indicates that the defendant is not entitled to a sentence reduction.

Defendant's guideline range is not affected by Amendment 750. At the original sentencing, the Court determined that the defendant's guideline range, pursuant to § 2D1.1 of the Sentencing Guidelines, was 235 to 293 months. However, the statutory mandatory minimum sentence for defendant's offense was life imprisonment. Pursuant to § 5G1.1, when the required statutory minimum is greater than the guideline maximum, the statutory minimum becomes the guideline sentence. Therefore, based on § 5G1.1, defendant faced a mandatory minimum sentence of life imprisonment. He was not sentenced based on a sentencing range that has been subsequently lowered by the Sentencing Commission.

Defendant's actual sentence was below the mandatory life sentence, but only because the government filed a substantial assistance motion permitting a departure from the mandatory minimum sentence. However, this does not change that the starting point for determining defendant's sentence was the statutorily imposed mandatory minimum of life imprisonment, which remains unaltered. Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the defendant's motion (doc. 95) is denied.

Stephan P. Mickle

20111219

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