IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
June 3, 2008
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
PHILLIP RICE, DEFENDANT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Reagan, District Judge
ORDER REGARDING MOTION TO REDUCE SENTENCE
By motion filed June 2, 2008, Defendant Rice seeks to reduce his sentence in the above-captioned case under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2). This Order ADVISES Defendant Rice how his motion will be handled in this District Court.
On December 10, 2007, the United States Supreme Court scrutinized the crack-cocaine-to-powder-cocaine sentencing disparity contained in the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and held that federal district courts can deviate from the Guidelines in appropriate circumstances. Kimbrough v. United States, -- U.S. --, 128 S.Ct. 558 (2007). On December 11, 2007, the Sentencing Commission decided that the amendments in question (which reduce the base offense level associated with some crack cocaine offenses) would be retroactively applied as of March 3, 2008.
On December 19, 2007, Chief Judge Herndon of this Court issued Administrative Order 102. That Order addressed the amendments to the Guidelines and the motions -- like Rice's -- being filed in the wake of these amendments.
Rice's motion has been docketed as "Document # 49." A copy of Administrative Order 102 is being mailed to Rice by the Clerk's Office of this Court. Pursuant to that Order, both the Federal Public Defender's Office and the United States Attorney's Office have been advised of this filing.
Although Administrative Order 102 appointed the Public Defender's Office to represent Defendant Rice in any proceedings relating to the motion to reduce sentence, that appointment does not prevent Rice from hiring private counsel, including any lawyer who may have represented him in earlier proceedings in this Court or the Court of Appeals.
Finally, Administrative Order 102 stated that the United States need not respond before March 10, 2008 (suggesting that the United States would file a response after March 10th). The Court now CLARIFIES that -- at this time -- no formal response need be filed by the United States, and no briefing schedule will be set by the Court. The undersigned Judge is carefully monitoring the status of each motion to reduce sentence, including Rice's motion (Doc. 49). If a formal response is needed, or if a hearing would be helpful, the undersigned Judge will enter a separate Order setting a briefing schedule or hearing.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
MICHAEL J. REAGAN United States District Judge
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