United States v. Slappy, No. 16-4010 (4th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
The Fourth Circuit vacated defendant's 36-month revocation sentence, holding that the district court's failure to address her arguments in favor of a within-policy-statement-range sentence constituted procedural error. In this case, defendant presented detailed, nonfrivolous evidence of her positive employment history, her efforts at rehabilitation, and her voluntary service to her community, and the district court did not so much as mention her arguments when it imposed the statutory maximum. Furthermore, the district court's failure to address defendant's nonfrivolous arguments in favor of a within-range sentence was compounded by its failure to explain why it was necessary to impose the statutory maximum sentence. Because the district court's procedural errors were not harmless, the court remanded for resentencing.