The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sue E. Myerscough United States District Judge
Tuesday, 27 November, 2012 04:16:05 PM Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD
OPINION SUE E. MYERSCOUGH, U.S. District Judge:
This matter came before the Court on November 19, 2012 for the sentencing of Defendant Jonathan D. Cashion. The Government appeared by Assistant United States Attorney Matthew D. Cannon. Defendant appeared in person with his attorney, Ashli Summer McKeivier. The Court sentenced Defendant to a total of 40 years' imprisonment. The basis for that sentence was stated at the sentencing hearing and is stated herein.
On March 7, 2012, Defendant was charged by Indictment with three counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Child, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2251(a) and (e) (Counts 1 through 3); Distribution of Child Pornography, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(a)(2)(A), (B) and (b)(1) (Count 4); and Possession of Child Pornography in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2252A(a)(5)(B) and (b)(2) (Count 5).
On May 24, 2012, Defendant appeared before United States Magistrate Judge Byron G. Cudmore and entered an open plea of guilty to all counts of the Indictment and consented to all forfeiture allegations. Judge Cudmore issued a report recommending that Defendant's plea be accepted. On June 12, 2012, this Court formally accepted Defendant's plea of guilty and judgment of conviction was entered on Counts 1 through 5 of the Indictment.
The United States Probation Office prepared the Presentence Investigation Report (PSR). According to the calculations in the PSR, Defendant has a Total Offense Level of 43 and a Criminal History Category of I, which results in a guideline range of life imprisonment.*fn1
However, the statutory maximum penalty is 30 years on Counts 1 through 3, 20 years on Count 4, and 10 years on Count 5. In cases where the statutory maximum is less than the Guideline range, the Guidelines direct the Court to "impose maximum and consecutive sentences to the extent necessary to make the total punishment equal in severity to what the guidelines would require were it not for the statutory maxima." United States v. Veysey, 334 F.3d 600, 602 (7th Cir. 2003), citing U.S.S.G. § 5G1.2(d) ("If the sentence imposed on the count carrying the highest statutory maximum is less than the total punishment, then the sentence imposed on one or more of the other counts shall run consecutively but only to the extent necessary to produce a combined sentence equal to the total punishment"); see also United States v. Russell, 662 F.3d 831, 853 (7th Cir. 2011) (noting that in cases involving multiple counts of conviction, the Court should "'impose maximum and consecutive sentences to the extent necessary to make the total punishment equal in severity of what the guidelines would require were it not for the statutory maxima" and finding that the approach would result in four consecutive terms of 30 years, for a total of 120 years' imprisonment). Taking into account the advisory nature of the Sentencing Guidelines as well as the statutory minimum and maximum sentences, this Court could have sentenced Defendant to anywhere between 15*fn2 and 120 years' imprisonment. Defendant requested a sentence of 30 years. The Government requested a sentence of 90 years.
This Court notes that the Guidelines are advisory and that this Court is required to exercise its discretion in determining Defendant's sentence. See United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220 (2005); 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a). Having first calculated Defendant's advisory Guideline range, this Court must then consider the factors set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) before determining an appropriate sentence. See Id.
Section 3553(a) provides the following:
(a) Factors to be considered in imposing a sentence. - The court shall impose a sentence sufficient, but not greater than necessary, to comply ...