The Florida Bar - Board Certified Badge
Martindale-Hubbell - AV Preeminent Badge
Super Lawyers - Michael B Cohen Badge

Sentencing concurrently v. consecutivley

Sester v. United States, No.: 10-7387

In this case, the Defendant Sester was indicted in a State Court in Texas on drug charges. The Defendant had already been on probation for a previous drug charge and the State moved to revoke his probation. At the same time, the Defendant pled guilty to federal drug charges and it was imposed in Federal District Court a sentence of 12 years and 7 months to route consecutively to each and all sentence of the State which was to be imposed in the violation of probation case, nevertheless concurrently with whichever sentence levied on the newest of the drug charges.

The Defendant appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in his Federal case, who acknowledged the federal sentence, referencing the 151 month consecutive and concurrent sentences imposed were reasonable and the Court had the power to command a penalty consecutive to a projected state ruling.

The State Court eventually imposed a 5 year sentence for the probation violation and a 10 year sentence for the new drug charge and ordered these sentences to run concurrently. The Defendant now appealed to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court affirmed the Fifth Circuit's decision holding that the Federal District Court did indeed have the option to direct that their sentence can be run consecutively to an anticipated State sentence, since Judges conventionally have had expansive preference in the selection whether or not the sentences should transpire concurrently or consecutively, 18 U.S.C. Section 3584 (a). The Court did not find the District Court's sentence to be unlawful and found it to pass the reasonableness standard.

Continue Reading