United States v. Sirois, No. 17-1797 (1st Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
The First Circuit affirmed the sentence imposed in connection with the district court’s revocation of Defendant’s supervised release, holding that Defendant’s sentence did not violate the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment and that the sentence was substantively reasonable.
After he was released from federal custody following a drug trafficking conviction, Defendant pleaded guilty to felony drug possession in state court. The district court revoked Defendant’s supervised release and imposed a sentence of twenty-four months’ imprisonment, concluding that Defendant’s conduct violated his conditions of supervised release. On appeal, Defendant challenged the substantive reasonableness of his sentence and argued that because his drug addiction is a disease, sentencing him to a term of imprisonment for manifesting a condition of his disease was cruel and unusual punishment. The First Circuit disagreed, holding (1) it is not “clear or obvious” that the practice of incarcerating defendants for drug use and possession is unconstitutional; and (2) Defendant’s two-year sentence is not substantively unreasonable.