United States v. Watters, No. 18-2237 (8th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
The Eighth Circuit affirmed defendant's sentence imposed after he pleaded guilty to distributing child pornography. The district court imposed a sentence at the bottom of the advisory guidelines range, 262 months, but ordered the sentence to run consecutive to the remaining portion of an earlier-imposed, 60-month, revocation-of-supervised-release sentence under 18 U.S.C. 3583(k). After the Supreme Court held that section 3583(k) was unconstitutional in United States v. Haymond, 139 S. Ct. 2369 (2019), the court ordered supplemental briefing.
The court held that even if Haymond abrogated the court's double jeopardy precedent, any error in this case was not plain. The court also held that defendant's sentence was not substantively unreasonable where the district court considered the 18 U.S.C. 3553(a) factors and sufficiently explained its reasons for imposing a within-guidelines sentence.