United States District Court, D. Kansas
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
D. CRABTREE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the court on pro se defendant Larry
L. Anderson's “Motion for 2-Level Reductions for
the Years 2007, 2011, and 2014 Under 18 U.S.C. §
3582(c)(2).” Doc. 251. The government has filed a
Response. Doc. 252. Mr. Anderson asserts that the Supreme
Court's decision in Hughes v. United States, 138
S.Ct. 1765 (2018), entitles him to a sentence reduction.
After Hughes, Mr. Anderson's Federal Rule of
Criminal Procedure 11(c)(1)(C) plea agreement does not bar
him from seeking a § 3582(c)(2) sentence reduction if
his plea agreement was “based on” the Sentencing
Guidelines. But, this is only one step in the court's
analysis. Mr. Anderson is not eligible for a sentence
reduction because the Sentencing Commission has not
retroactively lowered the sentencing range for his offense of
conviction: kidnapping resulting in death. Doc. 140. Because
Mr. Anderson does not qualify for § 3582(c)(2) relief,
the court dismisses his motion for lack of jurisdiction for
the reasons explained, below.
March 11, 2015, a federal grand jury indicted Mr. Anderson
and two other defendants on the charge of kidnapping
resulting in death under 18 U.S.C. § 1201(a)(2) and
Doc. 1. Under § 1201, Mr. Anderson faced a statutory
sentence of either death or life imprisonment. Doc. 181 at 1.
Under the Sentencing Guidelines, Mr. Anderson's Amended
Presentence Investigation Report (“PSR”) produced
a base offense level of 43. Doc. 181 at 21. Mr. Anderson
received a three-level reduction for accepting
responsibility, resulting in a total offense level of 40.
Id. Mr. Anderson's PSR calculated his criminal
history at category II. Id. at 23. So, Mr.
Anderson's resulting imprisonment range was 324-405
months. Id. at 27.
November 21, 2016, Mr. Anderson and the government presented
a plea agreement under Fed. R. Crim. P. 11(c)(1)(C). Doc.
140. On May 8, 2017, the court accepted the parties' plea
agreement and sentenced Mr. Anderson to 336 months in prison
and five years of supervised release. Doc. 187. Now, Mr.
Anderson seeks a sentence reduction under 18 U.S.C. §
federal district court may modify a defendant's sentence
only when Congress expressly has authorized it. 18 U.S.C.
§ 3582(c); United States v. Blackwell, 81 F.3d
945, 947 (10th Cir.1996) (citations omitted). Section 3582(c)
permits the court to reduce a sentence in limited
circumstances. Under § 3582(c)(2), the court may reduce
in the case of a defendant who has been sentenced to a term
of imprisonment based on a sentencing range that has
subsequently been lowered by the Sentencing Commission
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 994(o), upon motion of the defendant or
the Director of the Bureau of Prisons, or on its own motion,
the court may reduce the term of imprisonment, after
considering the factors set forth in section 3553(a) to the
extent that they are applicable, if such a reduction is
consistent with applicable policy statements issued by the
8 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2). So, § 3582(c)(2) creates a
two-step inquiry. United States v. Green, 886 F.3d
1300, 1306 (10th Cir. 2018) (citing Dillon v. United
States, 560 U.S. 817, 826-27 (2010)). First, the court
must evaluate the defendant's eligibility for a sentence
reduction. Id. (citing Dillon, 560 U.S. at
826-27). For example, the Guidelines prohibit the court from
reducing a defendant's sentence if no retroactive
amendment listed in USSG § 1B1.10(d) applies. USSG
§ 1B1.10(a)(2). Second, if the defendant is eligible for
a sentence reduction, the court must decide whether the
reduction is warranted under the factors specified by
Congress in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a). Id. (citing
Dillon, 560 U.S. at 826-27).
Anderson's plea agreement under Fed. R. Crim. P.
11(c)(1)(C) does not bar him from seeking a § 3582(c)(2)
sentence reduction as a matter of right. See Hughes,
138 S.Ct. at 1775- 76. But, Mr. Anderson's motion fails
the first step of the § 3582(c)(2) inquiry-that is, Mr.
Anderson is not eligible for a sentence reduction because the
Sentencing Commission has not lowered the sentencing range
for his offense of conviction: kidnapping resulting in death.
And, because Mr. Anderson does not qualify for §
3582(c)(2) relief, the court lacks jurisdiction to grant the
relief he has requested. The court explains its reasoning,
After Hughes, Mr. Anderson's Fed. R.
Crim. P. 11(c)(1)(C) plea agreement does not bar him from
seeking a § 3582(c)(2) sentence reduction if his plea
agreement is “based on” the Sentencing
Anderson contends that he is eligible for a two-point
sentence reduction under the Sentencing Guidelines.
Specifically, Mr. Anderson asserts that the Supreme
Court's decision in Hughes qualifies him for a
reduction under his Fed. R. Crim. P. 11(c)(1)(C) plea
agreement (i.e., a “Type-C” plea
agreement). But, Mr. Anderson's argument only gets him
partway to relief.
does authorize federal courts to reduce a defendant's
sentence-even if the sentence results from a Type-C plea
agreement-if the agreement was based on a Guidelines range
that would have been lower had the amendment been in effect
at sentencing. And, after Hughes, it is the rule,
not the exception, that Type-C plea agreements generally are
“based on” the Guidelines. That is, “a
sentence imposed pursuant to a Type-C agreement is
‘based on' the defendant's Guidelines range so
long as that range was part of the framework the district
court relied on in imposing the sentence or accepting the
agreement.” Hughes, 138 S.Ct. at 1775. Because
district courts first must evaluate the Type-C plea agreement
in the context of defendant's Guidelines range, it is the
“usual case” that “the court's
acceptance of a Type-C agreement and the sentence to be
imposed pursuant to that agreement are ‘based on'
the defendant's Guidelines range.” I ...