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Gun Charge Against Turean Butler Yields SDNY Arguments and 44 Month Sentence

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
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SDNY COURTHOUSE, Feb 12 – When Turean Butler came up for sentencing on February 12 for having been arrested in possession of a gun as a felon some 15 months ago, the US Attorney's Office was seeking a higher sentencing guideline than they had agreed to in their letter to the defendant under US v. Pimintel, 932 F.2d 1029 (2d Cir. 1991).   

The April 9, 2019 Pimintel letter provided a guideline of 51 to 63 months. But, Assistant US Attorney Emily A. Johnson said, now it should be 77 to 96 months due to their discovery of a youthful offence that had been sealed, and the involvement of a substance that was treated differently under the Federal guidelines in the past.  

 Federal Defender Ian Marcus Amelkin disagreed. He pointed at that while Johnson's argument had been followed by SDNY Judge John G. Koeltl, with whom he interned and for who he expressed respect, more recent decision had been, as Judge Cathy Seibel put it, that a tie goes to the defendant.  

Judge Daniels said full resolution of the issue will have to wait for another day, and a fuller record. He adopted the lower guideline but only went slightly below it, to 44 months minus the 15 the defendant has already served. The case is US v. Butler, 19-cr-177 (Daniels). 


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