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United States v. Womack

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS


January 7, 2008

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
EDWARD LEE WOMACK, JR., DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael J. Reagan United States District Judge

ORDER REGARDING MOTION TO REDUCE SENTENCE

REAGAN, District Judge:

Issued in response to Defendant Womack's December 17, 2007 motion to modify or reduce sentence under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2), THIS ORDER WILL ADVISE DEFENDANT WOMACK how his motion will be handled in this District Court.*fn1

On December 10, 2007, the United States Supreme Court scrutinized the crack-cocaine-to-powder-cocaine sentencing disparity contained in the United States Sentencing Guidelines and held that federal district courts are free to deviate from the Guidelines in appropriate circumstances. Kimbrough v. United States, -- U.S. --, 128 S.Ct. 558 (2007).

In a footnote, the high Court noted that the U.S. Sentencing Commission had not yet determined whether a November 2007 change in the Guidelines (an amendment which reduced the base offense level associated with crack cocaine) would be retroactive. Id., 128 S.Ct. at 569, n.11. On December 11, 2007, the Sentencing Commission voted unanimously to retroactively apply that amendment. However, the amendment (to § 1B1.10 of the Guidelines) does not take effect until March 3, 2008.

On December 19, 2007, Chief Judge Herndon of this District Court issued Administrative Order 102 which addresses this Guidelines amendment. Administrative Order 102 explains that this Court cannot act on any petitions to reduce sentence until after the March 3, 2008 effective date imposed by the Sentencing Commission. Administrative Order 102 further provides:

(a) any motions to reduce sentence filed before March 3, 2008 shall be stayed until March 3, 2008;

(b) the Federal Public Defender's Office of the Southern District of Illinois "is hereby designated to represent each defendant" who files a motion to reduce sentence; and

(c) the U.S. Attorney's Office need not file any response to a motion to reduce sentence until March 10, 2008. Id.

Administrative Order 102 is incorporated by reference herein and expressly made applicable to this particular case. Pursuant to Administrative Order 102, the undersigned Judge NOTIFIES Defendant that his December 17, 2007 motion has been docketed in this Court, that it is stayed (no action will be taken on it) until March 3, 2008, and that the Federal Public Defender's Office will be advised of this filing.

The undersigned Judge DIRECTS the Clerk's Office to send a copy of this Order to the Federal Public Defender's Office and the United States Attorney's Office for this District. Confirmation of those transmissions shall be reflected on the docket sheet.

Although Administrative Order 102 appointed the Public Defender's Office to represent Defendant in any proceedings relating to the motion to reduce sentence, that appointment does not prevent Defendant from retaining private counsel, including any lawyer(s) who may have represented Defendant in earlier proceedings in this District Court or the Court of Appeals.

Additionally, the undersigned Judge GRANTS Womack's January 2, 2008 motion (Doc. 27) asking to supplement the December 17th motion (Doc. 26). The January 2nd filing will be treated as a supplement to the original motion to reduce/impose sentence. However, Womack should FILE NO FURTHER PLEADINGS OR BRIEFS in this case until further Order of this Court, since his motion is STAYED until March 3, 2008.

Finally, the Court emphasizes that the entry of this Order in no way constitutes an indication that Womack's motion has merit, was timely-filed, or is even affected by the recent Supreme Court decision or Guidelines amendment.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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