United States of America, Plaintiff-appellee, v. Richard Leon Cooper, Defendant-appellant, 952 F.2d 397 (4th Cir. 1991)

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US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit - 952 F.2d 397 (4th Cir. 1991) Submitted Dec. 5, 1991. Decided Dec. 23, 1991

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, at Baltimore. Joseph C. Howard, District Judge. (CR-90-222-JH)

Jack B. Rubin, JACK B. RUBIN, P.A., Baltimore, Md., for appellant.

Richard D. Bennett, United States Attorney, Robert E. Sims, Assistant United States Attorney, Baltimore, Md., for appellee.

D. Md.





Richard Leon Cooper pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute over 1000 kilograms of marijuana (21 U.S.C. § 846 (1988)) and received the mandatory minimum sentence of ten years. He appeals his sentence, contending that mandatory minimum sentences are unconstitutional. Cooper argues that, because the district court was required to impose the mandatory minimum sentence, he was denied an individualized sentence and the sentence he received was disproportionate to his relative culpability in the offense in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

These contentions are without merit. There is no right to individualized sentencing except in death penalty cases, Harmelin v. Michigan, 59 U.S.L.W. 4839 (U.S.1991), and Congress may enact mandatory and determinate sentencing laws without violating due process. United States v. Bolding, 876 F.2d 21 (4th Cir. 1989). This Court has previously held that the mandatory minimum sentences required by 21 U.S.C.A. § 841 (West 1981 & Supp.1991) do not violate the Eighth Amendment. United States v. Whitehead, 849 F.2d 849 (4th Cir.), cert. denied, 488 U.S. 983 (1988).

We therefore affirm the judgment of the district court. We dispense with oral argument because the facts and legal contentions are adequately presented in the materials before the Court and argument would not aid the decisional process.