United States v. Salinas-Cortez, No. 11-1580 (3d Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
The district court accepted a guilty plea to charges relating to cocaine distribution, but did not expressly rule on a request for reduction of sentence under U.S.S.G. 3B1.2 based on a claim that defendant was a minimal participant. The Third Circuit vacated and remanded. During the sentencing hearing on remand, the court declined to consider defendant's efforts toward rehabilitation since he was sentenced and reimposed the original sentence. About one week later, the Supreme Court decided U.S. v. Pepper. The Third Circuit again vacated and remanded. Postsentencing rehabilitation is a critical part of a defendant's history that can be relevant in assessing likelihood of future criminal behavior. Any limitation precluding the consideration of postsentencing rehabilitation must clearly appear on the face of the opinion vacating the original sentence.