Court to decide sentencing modification case

AP News
Posted: Dec 07, 2009 1:03 PM

The Supreme Court will decide whether judges have to follow strict sentencing guidelines at sentence modification hearings.

The court on Monday agreed to hear an appeal from inmate Percy Dillion. He was sentenced to 322 months in prison in Pennsylvania on crack cocaine and firearm charges.

The Supreme Court decided in 2005 that the guidelines judges use in sentencing hearings should be advisory instead of mandatory. Dillion was resentenced to 270 months.

However, the lower courts refused to make the guidelines at Dillion's sentence modification hearing advisory, which could have lowered his sentence even more.

Dillion wants the Supreme Court to overturn that decision. The court will hear arguments next year.

The case is Dillion v. United States, 09-6338.