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United States v. Griffin

United States District Court, E.D. New York

January 10, 2020

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
RODNEY GRIFFIN, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM & ORDER

          WILLIAM F. KUNTZ, II, United States District Judge

         On September 25, 2018, Rodney Griffin pled guilty to Count One of the Superseding Indictment. The Court now sentences him and provides a complete statement of reasons pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3553(c)(2) of those factors set forth by Congress contained in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a). For the reasons discussed below, Rodney Griffin is hereby sentenced to 57 months of incarceration, 5 years of supervised release, no fine, and a $100.00 special assessment.

         BACKGROUND

         On August 30, 2018, the Government filed a Superseding Indictment charging Rodney Griffin ("Defendant") with one count of Bank Robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2113(a) and (d). Superseding Indictment, ECF No. 31. On September 25, 2019, Defendant pled guilty to Count One of the Superseding Indictment pursuant to a plea penalty sheet. See Exhibit 2 ("Plea Penalty Sheet"), ECF No. 37.

         The Court hereby sentences Defendant and sets forth its reasons for Defendant's sentence using the rubric of the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3553(c)(2).

         DISCUSSION

         I. Legal Standard

         18 U.S.C. § 3553 outlines the procedures for imposing sentence in a criminal case. The "starting point and the initial benchmark" in evaluating a criminal sentence is the Guidelines sentencing range. Gall v. United States, 552 U.S. 38, 49 (2007). If and when a district court chooses to impose a sentence outside of the Sentencing Guidelines range, the court "shall state in open court the reasons for its imposition of the particular sentence, and ... the specific reason for the imposition of a sentence different from that described" in the Guidelines. 18 U.S.C. § 3553(c)(2). The court must also "state[] with specificity" its reasons for so departing or varying "in a statement of reasons form." Id.

         "The sentencing court's written statement of reasons shall be a simple, fact-specific statement explaining why the guidelines range did not account for a specific factor or factors under § 3553(a)." United States v. Davis, 08-CR-0332, 2010 WL 1221709, at *1 (E.D.N.Y. Mar. 29, 2010) (Weinstein, J.). Section 3553(a) provides a set of seven factors for the Court to consider in determining what sentence to impose on a criminal defendant. The Court addresses each in turn.

         II. Analysis

         A. The Nature and Circumstances of the Offense and the History and Characteristics of the Defendant

         The first § 3553(a) factor requires the Court to evaluate "the nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and characteristics of the defendant." 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(1).

         Defendant was born on December 16, 1964 to the marital union of Ronald Griffin and Susie Burrell, both now deceased. Presentence Investigation Report ("PSR") ¶ 44, ECF No. 59. Defendant stated his parents later divorced in approximately 1972. Id. Defendant has two siblings, both of whom are in good health: Tracy Constantine and Erica Mason. Id. ¶ 45. Ms. Constantine resides in Brooklyn, New York, has a child, and works with disabled children. Id. Ms. Mason resides in Brooklyn, New York, has a son, and works as a director of programming. Id.

         From birth until 1970, Defendant resided with his parents in a low-income neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. Id. ¶ 50. In approximately 1970, Defendant's father left the family home and Defendant remained with his mother. Id. In 1982, at age 18, Defendant left his mother's home to live on campus at Sullivan County Community College in Loch Sheldrake, New York. Id. ...


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