Thursday, December 8, 2005

Enhancing a Tax Protester's Sentence for Terrorism

Doug Berman on the venerable Sentencing Law & Policy blog has an interesting post (here) about the application of the terrorism enhancement to a tax protester case (U.S. v. Dowell here).  The defendants were members of a "constitutional law group" -- no doubt pondering the usual issues related to the propriety of the admission of Ohio to statehood and the sovereignty of Texas -- who broke into the IRS office in Colorado Springs and set it on fire.  As Doug notes, the Tenth Circuit undertook the unusual procedure of ignoring the government's concession that the district court's application of the terrorism enhancement under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines violated Booker by embarking on an "independent review" of the record and upholding the enhancement on the ground that the jury's verdict supported the enhancement.  The court then affirmed the 360-month sentence imposed by the district court.  Another interesting point in the opinion is a brief footnote near the beginning that the court granted defense counsel's request to withdraw.  The court does not reference Anders, and I suspect that the client was problematic and perhaps even rather uncooperative, which would not be a surprise given the nature of the offense and offender. (ph)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/whitecollarcrime_blog/2005/12/doug_berman_on_.html

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