The Fourth Circuit today issued a published opinion affirming imposition of statutory maximum sentence of 240 months on an offender who started with an advisory Guidelines range of 57 to 71 months. The ultimate sentence resulted from two upward departures and an upward variance.
Judge King wrote the opinion in United States v. Rivera-Santana, which was joined in by Judge Wilkinson and Judge Diaz.
Judge Payne was the sentencing judge. In justifying the upward variance, Judge Payne observed of the defendant:
This man has proved for years that he is a danger to society. He has proved for years that he has no respect for the law. He was proved for years that it is necessary to take strong action to protect the public. A man who will kill his wife, pregnant wife, and kill his own child and molest his granddaughter has no respect for the law and is a menace and . . . a proven danger to the public, to the citizenry of the nation that he has chosen on multiple occasions illegally to invade, and when he comes here, he violates all kinds of laws, any kind of law that stands in the way of accomplishing what he wants to do.
If he wants to gratify himself, he plunders an eight-year-old child. If he wants to have some company or make some money, he smuggles illegal aliens. He gets deported, he comes right back. He drives drunk. He steals, he beats. He is, in short, an anathema to society.