Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Figueroa-Coello

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

April 3, 2019

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
JOSE SANTOS FIGUEROA-COELLO, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas

          Before KING, SMITH, and WILLETT, Circuit Judges.

          PER CURIAM

         Appellant asks us to overturn the district court's within-Guidelines sentence because he was denied the chance to speak at his sentencing hearing. We agree that Appellant successfully demonstrated reversible plain error that affected the fairness of his sentence. We thus REVERSE the district court's judgment and REMAND for resentencing.

         I

         Appellant Jose Santos Figueroa-Coello, a citizen of both Honduras and Mexico with a criminal history, pleaded guilty to illegally reentering the United States. See 8 U.S.C. § 1326. His proper sentencing range, as determined based on his presentence report, was 21 to 27 months. At the sentencing hearing, the following exchange took place:

THE COURT: Prior to sentencing, do you have anything that you'd like to say on behalf of your client?
MS. PADILLA PAXTON [Jose's attorney]: Yes, Your Honor.
Mr. Figueroa-Coello is a citizen of both Honduras and Mexico. He came to the United States in order to make a better living. He can make about $600 a week in construction here in the United States. He was last removed in 2014. Although he does not minimize his past conduct, we would point out that his issue stems from alcohol abuse. He was on his way to Houston this time to reunite with his family. And he's asking for a sentence as lenient as possible.

The Government argued for a top-of-the-range sentence of 27 months based on Jose's prior conviction for aggravated robbery. The district court never addressed Jose or asked whether he had anything to say. Instead, the court agreed with the Government and sentenced Jose to 27 months in prison plus three years supervised release. Jose appealed, arguing that the district court reversibly erred by failing to ask him whether he wished to speak at his sentencing hearing.

         II

         As Jose failed to object at trial, we review for plain error. United States v. Reyna, 358 F.3d 344, 348-50 (5th Cir. 2004) (en banc). Relief under the plain-error standard "will be difficult to get, as it should be." United States v. Dominguez Benitez, 542 U.S. 74, 83, n. 9 (2004). To receive it, the appellant must show the lower court's action (or lack thereof) (1) deviated from unwaived and established legal rules, (2) was "clear or obvious, rather than subject to reasonable dispute," and (3) affected his substantial rights. Puckett v. United States, 556 U.S. 129, 135 (2009). This court then has discretion to correct the error if (4) it seriously affects the fairness, integrity, or public reputation of judicial proceedings. Id.

         III

         There is little dispute here regarding the first three prongs of the Puckett test, which serve to establish the existence of plain error. The parties quarrel over prong four, which concerns ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.