United States v. Ramirez, No. 20-1006 (7th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
Ramirez crashed his car into a truck and fled from the police. Speeding off, he hit a passenger who had jumped from his car. He ran a red light, drove around other cars in parking lots “at a high rate of speed,” then fled on foot. A search of his car revealed a loaded revolver and ammunition, which Ramirez confessed were his. Ramirez pleaded guilty (without an agreement) to possessing a firearm as a felon, 18 U.S.C. 922(g). The PSR factored in Ramirez’s flight and acceptance of responsibility and his criminal history, which included a drive-by shooting from 19 years earlier, burglary, theft, drug use, aggravated battery, resisting arrest, and parole violations, resulting in a guidelines range of 46-57 months’ imprisonment.
The court addressed the 18 U.S.C. 3553(a) factors and concluded a two-level enhancement for reckless endangerment during his flight did not adequately account for the severity of his conduct, which endangered many people, and that Ramirez’s criminal history score understated his true history because it excluded some older convictions. Ramirez argued that he had aged out of crime at age 44, but admitted that he had spent much of his life in prison. The court concluded that a sentence within the guidelines range would not effectively deter him from endangering others. The Seventh Circuit affirmed his 72-month sentence. The district court appropriately handled the “aging out” argument as no data supported it, and reasonably justified its above-guidelines sentence.