USA v. Ira Lester Bowie, Jr., No. 15-13387 (11th Cir. 2016)

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Case: 15-13387 Date Filed: 07/07/2016 Page: 1 of 4 [DO NOT PUBLISH] IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT ________________________ No. 15-13387 Non-Argument Calendar ________________________ D.C. Docket No. 1:14-cr-00375-AKK-JEO-1 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff -Appellee, versus IRA LESTER BOWIE, Jr., a.k.a. Ira Bowie, Defendant -Appellant. ________________________ Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida ________________________ (July 7, 2016) Before TJOFLAT, JORDAN, and JILL PRYOR, Circuit Judges. PER CURIAM: Case: 15-13387 Date Filed: 07/07/2016 Page: 2 of 4 Ira Bowie Jr., who pled guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm, appeals his mandatory 180–month sentence which was imposed pursuant to the Armed Career Criminal Act, 18 U.S.C. § 924(e). On appeal, Mr. Bowie argues that, in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Miller v. Alabama, 132 S.Ct. 2455 (2012), the ACCA’s mandatory 180-month sentence, as applied to him, violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. He asserts that under Miller the ACCA’s mandatory minimum sentence violates the Eighth Amendment because it acts as a categorical bar on proportional individualized sentencing. We review de novo the legality of a sentence under the Eighth Amendment. United States v. McGarity, 669 F.3d 1218, 1255 (11th Cir. 2012). Upon review of the record and consideration of the parties’ briefs, we affirm. We have previously held that the mandatory minimum sentence of the ACCA for a person convicted of being felon in possession of a firearm does not violate the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment. See United States v. Reynolds, 215 F.3d 1210, 1215 (11th Cir. 2000). Mr. Bowie contends that the Supreme Court’s decision in Miller has overruled that precedent, and that the 180–month mandatory minimum sentence he received is not proportional to his crime and is therefore unconstitutional. We are not persuaded. 2 Case: 15-13387 Date Filed: 07/07/2016 Page: 3 of 4 “In non-capital cases, the Eighth Amendment encompasses, at most, only a narrow proportionality principle.” Reynolds, 215 F.3d at 1214 (citing United States v. Brant, 62 F.3d 367, 368 (11th Cir. 1995)). When we review the proportionality of a sentence we first determine whether the sentence is grossly disproportionate to the offense committed. Id. If we find that the sentence is grossly disproportionate, we then consider the sentences imposed on others convicted in the same jurisdiction and the sentences imposed for commission of the same crime in other jurisdictions. Id. (citations omitted). In Reynolds we found that the imposition of a 180–month mandatory minimum—the same as the sentence at issue in this case—was not grossly disproportionate for a felon in possession offense. See Id. The Supreme Court’s Miller decision does not call for a different result here. “An intervening Supreme Court decision overrules one of our decisions only if it is directly on point.” United States v. Wilks, 464 F.3d 1240, 1243 (11th Cir. 2006) (citation omitted). In Miller, the Court held that mandatory life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for juveniles violated the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment. Miller, 132 S.Ct. at 2461, 2463–69. Miller focused specifically on the Eighth Amendment and how a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole was a violation of the Eighth Amendment with respect to juveniles. Id. Miller does not mention the ACCA, mandatory minimums, or 3 Case: 15-13387 Date Filed: 07/07/2016 Page: 4 of 4 announce any new holdings concerning the Eighth Amendment’s proportionality principle as to adults. Miller does not directly overrule our decision in Reynolds. Consequently, the 180–month mandatory minimum sentence Mr. Bowie received under the ACCA does not violate the Eighth Amendment. We affirm that sentence. AFFIRMED 4