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United States v. McDonald

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS


October 23, 2009

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
HEATHER MCDONALD, DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: J. Phil Gilbert District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

This matter comes before the Court on Defendant Heather McDonald's pro se Motion to Appoint Counsel (Doc. 872). On July 26, 2006, McDonald pled guilty, pursuant to a written plea agreement, to one count of conspiracy to manufacture, distribute, and possess with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine. Following a 2008 sentence reduction hearing, where McDonald was represented by retained counsel, her sentenced was commuted from 121 months to 81 months due to substantial assistance provided to the government. Now, McDonald seeks appointment of new counsel in an effort to obtain a rehearing of the reduction of her sentence.

McDonald's chief concerns are that her retained counsel, John Stobbs, never discussed any sentencing reduction issues with her and never made her aware of any reduction hearing. However, in the Response to Government's Motion to Reduce Sentence (Doc. 821), Stobbs averred that he discussed the Government's Motion to Reduce Sentence (Doc. 769) with McDonald and that said motion was "satisfactory" to her. With respect to the hearing, one never took place, as the Court quickly ordered reduction of McDonald's sentence due to her apparent satisfaction with the parties' agreement.

When considering reduction of one's sentence under 28 U.S.C. § 3582(c), the Court can appoint counsel but need not do so. U.S. v. Tidwell, 178 F.3d 946, 949 (7th Cir. 1999). The Court, being fully advised of the premises, fails to see how McDonald's concerns necessitate further proceedings as to reduction of her sentence, especially in light of the relevant procedural posture. Accordingly, the Court DENIES the instant motion (Doc. 872).

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20091023

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