United States v. Jackson, No. 15-3053 (D.C. Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Defendant pleaded guilty to willful failure to pay over federal employment taxes in violation of 26 U.S.C. 7202 and received an above-Guidelines sentence of imprisonment. On appeal, defendant challenged his sentence. Defendant committed the crime in this case while he was pleading guilty and being sentenced for a nearly identical crime. The court noted that there are good reasons for concluding that the Statements of Reasons district judges submit to the Sentencing Commission are purely administrative, to assist the Commission's data-gathering function, not to confer on a sentenced defendant some after-the-fact procedural protection. The court joined every other circuit in holding that because the district court's oral explanation sufficed, any written deficiency did not affect defendant's substantial rights and therefore does not warrant vacating his sentence or remanding the case. Finally, the court concluded that the district court's remark regarding an adequate punishment did not render the sentence unlawful, and defendant's sentence was not too severe nor an abuse of discretion. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.