United States v. Kirklin, No. 12-2765 (7th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Kirklin asked Jones whether she wanted to help rob a bank. Kirklin promised it would be “easy,” showed her two firearms he had stashed in his van, and Jones agreed to participate. They were caught. A jury convicted Kirklin of aiding and abetting an armed bank robbery and aiding and abetting the use and carrying of a firearm during that robbery, 18 U.S.C. 2113; 924(c)(1)(A); 2 and was sentenced to 171 months’ imprisonment. The Seventh Circuit affirmed the conviction and sentence, rejecting arguments that the district court failed to accurately instruct the jury on aiding and abetting the use and carrying of a firearm during the robbery and that Kirklin is entitled to resentencing because the district court wrongly imposed a 7‐year sentence under 18 U.S.C. 924(c)(1)(A)(ii) for his accomplices’ “brandishing” firearms even though the jury never found this fact beyond a reasonable doubt. The court acknowledged that any fact that increases a defendant’s mandatory minimum sentence must be submitted to a jury, but stated that it was not convinced that the sentencing error resulted in a miscarriage of justice because the evidence supporting the court’s finding of brandishing was overwhelming.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on August 16, 2013.