US v. Ley — criminal sentencing — reversal — Fisher
The Third Circuit today ruled in a criminal defendant’s favor in his appeal challenging the district court’s interpretation of a sentencing-guidelines provision. The introduction of the opinion succinctly explains the issue:
This case concerns the criminal history provisions of the Sentencing Guidelines. A defendant’s criminal history is calculated by assigning points for prior sentences. The Guidelines instruct that prior sentences “always are counted separately if the sentences were imposed for offenses that were separated by an intervening arrest.” United States Sentencing Commission, Guidelines Manual § 4A1.2(a)(2) (USSG). The question presented here is whether a traffic stop, followed by the issuance of a summons, constitutes an intervening arrest in the context of the criminal history Guidelines.
The court held that issuance of a summons does not count as an “arrest” for this purpose, joining three other circuits and splitting with the Seventh. The court also rejected the government’s argument that defendant waived the issue by failing to object to a supplemental PSR addendum.
Joining Fisher were Hardiman and Roth. Arguing counsel were Samantha Stern of the WDPA federal defenders for the defendant and Laura Irwin for the government.