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United States v. Wise

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Columbia Division

June 27, 2019

The United States of America,
v.
Fredrecquious Wise, Defendant.

          ORDER AND OPINION

         This matter is before this court upon Defendant Fredrecquious Wise's Motion for Reconsideration of the court's Sentencing Order entered on March 29, 2018. (ECF No. 45.) Defendant seeks review of the court's Order sentencing him to eighty-three (83) months' imprisonment within the United States Bureau of Prisons. (Id.) Specifically, Defendant requests that the court reconsider and amend his sentence downward. (Id.) For the reasons set forth herein, the court DENIES Defendant's Motion for Reconsideration.

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         On February 24, 2017, a federal grand jury indicted Defendant for one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. (ECF No. 2.) On October 25, 2017, Defendant entered a guilty plea to one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1), 924(a)(2) and 924(e). (ECF No. 27.) On March 29, 2018, Defendant was sentenced to eighty-three (83) months' imprisonment within the United States Bureau of Prisons, followed by a term of three (3) years of supervised release. (ECF No. 39.)

         Defendant filed his Motion for Reconsideration on June 6, 2019, requesting that the court exercise its discretion regarding the sentencing guidelines. (ECF No. 45.) Defendant requests reconsideration of his sentence based on the alleged circumstances that led to his conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm. (Id.) Defendant asks for leniency based on circumstances of his surrounding environment. (Id.) These circumstances include Defendant becoming an orphan at the age of one (1), after witnessing his mother being shot to death in front of him. (Id.) Defendant also informed the court that he has a wife, two (2) biological children and four (4) step-children. (Id.) He also claims that he needed a gun for protection after having been pistol whipped. (Id.) The United States of America (“the Government”) has not filed a response to Defendant's Motion.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         The Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and federal case law recognize that motions for reconsideration may be proper in a criminal setting. See Fed. R. Crim. P. 57(b) (“A judge may regulate practice in any manner consistent with federal law, these rules, and the local rules of the district.”); United States v. Dieter, 429 U.S. 6, 8 (1976) (“The fact that appeals are now routed to the courts of appeals does not affect the wisdom of giving district courts the opportunity promptly to correct their own alleged errors.”); United States v. Randall, 666 F.3d 1238, 1241 (10th Cir. 2011). However, the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure do not explicitly provide formal provisions governing motions for reconsideration. See United States v. Rollins, 607 F.3d 500, 502 (7th Cir. 2010); United States v. Fuentes-Morales, No. 5:14-cr-00556, 2017 WL 541052, at *1 (D.S.C. Feb. 10, 2017).

         The court is guided by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure when determining if the reconsideration of a sentence is appropriate. Rollins, 607 F.3d at 502; United States v. Carroll, No. 1:16-cr-00632-JMC-10, 2018 WL 3802195, at *1 (D.S.C. Aug. 10, 2018); Fuentes-Morales, 2017 WL 541052, at *1. A court may alter or amend a judgment pursuant to Rule 59(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure if the movant shows: (1) a change in the controlling law; (2) new evidence that was not readily discoverable at the time of the initial hearing; or (3) a clear error of law causing manifest injustice. Robinson v. Wix Filtration Corp., 599 F.3d 403, 407 (4th Cir. 2010).

         Nevertheless, Rule 59(e) motions cannot be used as opportunities to re-litigate issues already decided just because the litigant is not happy with the result. See Hutchinson v. Staton, 994 F.2d 1076, 1082 (4th Cir. 1993) (“[M]ere disagreement does not support a Rule 59(e) motion.”); Consulting Eng'rs, Inc. v. Geometric Software Sols. & Structure Works LLC, No. 1:06cv956(JCC), 2007 WL 2021901, at *2 (E.D. Va. July 6, 2007) (“A party's mere disagreement with the court's ruling does not warrant a Rule 59(e) motion, and such a motion should not be used to ‘rehash' arguments previously presented or to submit evidence which should have been previously submitted.” (quoting Rouse v. Nielsen, 851 F.Supp. 717, 734 (D.S.C. 1994))).

         III. ANALYSIS

         Here, Defendant moves to have his sentence reconsidered because he “feared for his life, ” and he believes that his rough upbringing, particularly his orphan status at the age of one (1), should have been taken into consideration. (ECF No. 45.) In order to grant a motion for reconsideration there must be: (1) a change in the controlling law; (2) new evidence that was not readily discoverable at the time of the initial hearing; or (3) a clear error of law causing manifest injustice. Robinson, 599 F.3d at 407. A motion to reconsider cannot be granted when a defendant simply wants the court to review what the court has already thought about and ruled upon. See United States v. Dickerson, 971 F.Supp. 1023, 1024 (E.D. Va. 1997).

         In this case, there has been no change in law that would warrant reconsideration. Defendant pled guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1), 924(a)(2), and 924(e). (ECF No. 27.) Defendant argues that he should be given “relief under this statute.” (ECF No. 45.) However, this argument is without merit because 18 U.S.C. § 922 (g)(1) makes it illegal for any felon, one who has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, to possess a firearm. 18 U.S.C. § 922 (g)(1) permits a maximum term of imprisonment of ten (10) years. Based on the information set forth in the Presentencing Report, the sentencing guidelines recommended seventy-seven (77) to ninety-six (96) months of imprisonment for Defendant. (ECF No. 38.) Defendant was sentenced to eight-three (83) months of imprisonment, which is within the sentencing guidelines range for Defendant. (ECF No. 39.)

         Defendant has also failed to provide any new evidence that would qualify him for relief. To qualify as new evidence, a party must show;

(1) the evidence is newly discovered since the judgment was entered; (2) due diligence on the part of the movant to discover the new evidence has been exercised; (3) the evidence is not merely cumulative or impeaching; (4) the evidence is material; and (5) the evidence is such that is likely to produce a new outcome if the case were retried, or is such that would require the judgment to be amended.

Boryan v. United States, 884 F.2d 767, 771 (4th Cir. 1989) (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 60). Defendant has failed to provide any new evidence that meets the standard under Fed.R.Civ.P. 60. The circumstances of the crime, as well as the information Defendant presents in mitigation of this crime were already detailed in both the Pretrial and Presentencing ...


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