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United States v. Hoffa

December 2, 2009

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
WILLIAM J. HOFFA, JR. APPELLANT



On Appeal From the United States District Court For the Western District of Pennsylvania (D.C. Crim. Action No. 2-08-cr-00048-001) District Judge: Hon. Gustave Diamond.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Stapleton, Circuit Judge

PRECEDENTIAL

Argued October 28, 2009

BEFORE: SMITH, FISHER and STAPLETON, Circuit Judges.

OPINION OF THE COURT

Appellant William J. Hoffa, Jr., pled guilty to one count of bank robbery and one count of attempted bank robbery in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a). The District Court sentenced him to a 115-month term of imprisonment on each count, with the two terms to be served concurrently. On appeal, Hoffa insists that the District Court violated 18 U.S.C. § 3582(a), as well as our decision in United States v. Manzella, 475 F.3d 152 (3d Cir. 2007), when it determined the length of his imprisonment by taking into consideration his need of medical treatment for end-stage liver disease. Hoffa also contends that the District Court erred when it applied a three-level enhancement under U.S.S.G. § 2B3.1(b)(2)(E) for possessing or brandishing a gun. Because we find merit in Hoffa's § 3582(a) argument, we will vacate his sentence and remand for resentencing.

I.

In Manzella, we were called upon to reconcile the provisions of 18 U.S.C. § 3582(a) and the provisions of 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a). Section 3582(a) provides:

Factors to be considered in imposing a term of imprisonment--The court, in determining whether to impose a term of imprisonment, and, if a term of imprisonment is to be imposed, in determining the length of the term, shall consider the factors set forth in section 3553(a) to the extent that they are applicable, recognizing that imprisonment is not an appropriate means of promoting correction and rehabilitation.

Section 3553(a) provides in relevant part:

Factors to be considered in imposing a sentence--The court shall impose a sentence sufficient, but not greater than necessary, to comply with the purposes set forth in paragraph (2) of this subsection. The court, in determining the particular sentence to be imposed, shall consider--

(2) the need for the sentence imposed--

(D) to provide the defendant with needed educational or vocational training, medical care, or other correctional treatment in the most effective manner. . . .

In Manzella, we began by noting that "ยงยง 3553(a)(2)(D) and 3582(a) appear to be in conflict -- the former requiring a sentencing court to consider a defendant's need for rehabilitation and the latter prohibiting it." Manzella, 475 F.3d at 157. We concluded, ...


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