MOORE v. UNITED STATES

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
07-10689
Petitioner 
James Eric Moore
Respondent 
United States
Term:
Facts of the Case 

A federal district court convicted James Eric Moore of possessing cocaine base (crack cocaine) with intent to distribute and sentenced him to 188 months in prison and 6 years of supervised release. Mr. Moore appealed arguing the district court improperly sentenced him when it failed to consider the disparate treatment of crack cocaine and powder cocaine in the United States Sentencing Guidelines.

The Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed. On appeal, the Supreme Court remanded with instructions for the court of appeals to consider Mr. Moore's case in light of its opinion in Kimbrough v. United States, where it held a judge "may consider the disparity between the Guidelines' treatment of crack and powder cocaine offenses." The court of appeals affirmed once again. It reasoned that the district court was aware it had such discretion, but chose not to exercise it in Mr. Moore's case.

Question 

Did the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit err when it presumed the district court was aware of its discretion to consider the disparity between the United States Sentencing Guidelines' treatment of crack and powder cocaine offenses when sentencing Mr. Moore?

Conclusion 
Decision: 9 votes for Moore, 0 vote(s) against
Legal provision: United States Sentencing Guidelines

Yes. In a per curiam opinion without argument, the Supreme Court held that the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit erred in presuming the district court knew it had, but chose not to exercise, discretion to consider the disparity between the United States Sentencing Guidelines' treatment of crack and powder cocaine offenses when sentencing Mr. Moore. It found the district court was not aware of this power. The Court reversed the court of appeals and remanded the case with instructions for the trial court to resentence Mr. Moore based on this opinion.

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MOORE v. UNITED STATES. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 20 October 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2008/07-10689>.
MOORE v. UNITED STATES, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2008/07-10689 (last visited October 20, 2014).
"MOORE v. UNITED STATES," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed October 20, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2008/07-10689.