Criminal Law

General Application Principles

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November 1, 2005GUIDELINES MANUAL§1B1.11

edition results in an increased penalty for the first offense. Because the defendant completed the second offense after the amendment to the guidelines took effect, the ex post facto clause does not prevent determining the sentence for that count based on the amended guidelines. For example, if a defendant pleads guilty to a single count of embezzlement that occurred after the most recent edition of the Guidelines Manual became effective, the guideline range applicable in sentencing will encompass any relevant conduct (e.g., related embezzlement offenses that may have occurred prior to the effective date of the guideline amendments) for the offense of conviction. The same would be true for a defendant convicted of two counts of embezzlement, one committed before the amendments were enacted, and the second after. In this example, the ex post facto clause would not bar application of the amended guideline to the first conviction; a contrary conclusion would mean that such defendant was subject to a lower guideline range than if convicted only of the second offense. Decisions from several appellate courts addressing the analogous situation of the constitutionality of counting pre-guidelines criminal activity as relevant conduct for a guidelines sentence support this approach. See United States v. Ykema, 887 F.2d 697 (6th Cir. 1989) (upholding inclusion of pre-November 1, 1987, drug quantities as relevant conduct for the count of conviction, noting that habitual offender statutes routinely augment punishment for an offense of conviction based on acts committed before a law is passed), cert. denied, 493 U.S. 1062 (1990); United States v. Allen, 886 F.2d 143 (8th Cir. 1989) (similar); see also United States v. Cusack, 901 F.2d 29 (4th Cir. 1990) (similar).

Moreover, the approach set forth in subsection (b)(3) should be followed regardless of whether the offenses of conviction are the type in which the conduct is grouped under §3D1.2(d). The ex post facto clause does not distinguish between groupable and nongroupable offenses, and unless that clause would be violated, Congress’s directive to apply the sentencing guidelines in effect at the time of sentencing must be followed. Under the guideline sentencing system, a single sentencing range is determined based on the defendant’s overall conduct, even if there are multiple counts of conviction (see §§3D1.1-3D1.5, 5G1.2). Thus, if a defendant is sentenced in January 1992 for a bank robbery committed in October 1988 and one committed in November 1991, the November 1991 Guidelines Manual should be used to determine a combined guideline range for both counts. See generally United States v. Stephenson, 921 F.2d 438 (2d Cir. 1990) (holding that the Sentencing Commission and Congress intended that the applicable version of the guidelines be applied as a "cohesive and integrated whole" rather than in a piecemeal fashion).

Consequently, even in a complex case involving multiple counts that occurred under several different versions of the Guidelines Manual, it will not be necessary to compare more than two manuals to determine the applicable guideline range -- the manual in effect at the time the last offense of conviction was completed and the manual in effect at the time of sentencing.

Historical Note:: Effective November 1, 1992 (see Appendix C, amendment 442). Amended effective November 1, 1993 (see Appendix C, amendment 474).

§1B1.12. Persons Sentenced Under the Federal Juvenile Delinquency Act (Policy Statement)

The sentencing guidelines do not apply to a defendant sentenced under the Federal Juvenile Delinquency Act (18 U.S.C. §§ 5031-5042). However, the sentence imposed upon a juvenile delinquent may not exceed the maximum of the guideline range applicable to an otherwise similarly situated adult defendant unless the court finds an aggravating factor sufficient to warrant an upward departure from that guideline range. United States v. R.L.C., 503 U.S. 291 (1992). Therefore, a necessary step in ascertaining

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