US v. David Troy, III, No. 20-7725 (4th Cir. 2023)Annotate this Case
Defendant appealed the denial of his motion for a sentence reduction under Section 404 of the First Step Act. Defendant argued that the district court abused its discretion when it chose to retain his original sentence despite reducing his Guidelines range to account for his erroneous designation as a career offender.
The Fourth Circuit affirmed. The court explained that the First Step Act does not permit a district court to recalculate a defendant’s benchmark Guidelines range “in any way other than to reflect the retroactive application of the Fair Sentencing Act.” Concepcion v. United States, 142 S. Ct. 2389, 2402 n.6 (2022). Arguments based on other changes in law must be considered after determining the benchmark Guidelines range that will “anchor” the proceeding. Here, the Fair Sentencing Act did not affect Defendant’s original Guidelines range. The district court considered Defendant’s arguments and provided an adequate explanation for retaining his original sentence. The court explained that given that starting point, the district court’s retention of his original sentence was both procedurally and substantively reasonable.