A man sentenced to nearly 22 years in prison for conspiring to distribute methamphetamine will get a do-over by a federal appeals court.
The U.S. Supreme Court told the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Monday morning to re-review Clint L. Ball’s appeal in light of Gall v. United States. In Gall, the Supreme Court said district court judges may not presume that a sentence under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines is reasonable and that appellate courts must use an abuse-of-discretion standard and consider the totality of the circumstances in reviewing lower court decisions. Appellate courts must give “due deference” to sentencing judges under Gall.
The Supreme Court handed down Gall in December 2007, about four months after the 8th Circuit issued its decision affirming Ball’s conviction and sentence.
The sentence imposed by U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr, of the Western District of Missouri, was at the bottom of the advisory guideline range. The 8th Circuit also noted that the sentence was just 22 months above the applicable 20-year mandatory minimum and that Ball’s lawyer requested the sentence. Ball’s arguments to the 8th Circuit didn’t rebut the presumption of reasonableness accorded by the appellate court, the 8th Circuit said.