United States v. Gonzalez, No. 19-1351 (1st Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
The First Circuit affirmed Defendant's sentence for violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO), 18 U.S.C. 1962(d), holding that the life without parole sentence imposed by the district court was not unconstitutional and that Defendant's remaining claims of error were unavailing.
On appeal, Defendant, who was twenty years old at the time he committed the charged crime, sought to vacate his sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole on Eighth Amendment grounds. The First Circuit affirmed, holding (1) Defendant failed to make the case for extending the Miller ban on life-without-parole sentences to offenders like Defendant who were in the eighteen-to-twenty range when they committed the crimes of conviction; (2) the district court did not err in determining that Defendant had twice committed the predicate offense of first-degree murder even where the jury had been instructed only on second-degree murder; and (3) Defendant's sentence was both procedurally and substantively reasonable.