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United States v. Raney

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

December 1, 2016

United States of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Kenneth J. Raney, Defendant-Appellant.

          Argued November 3, 2016

         Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin. No. 12-cr-00100 - William M. Conley, Chief Judge.

          Before Bauer, Manion, and Hamilton, Circuit Judges.

          Manion, Circuit Judge.

         Kenneth Raney appeals for the second time the district court's decision to impose an additional two-year term of supervised release after revoking his previous release term. We vacated Raney's initial sentence because the district court did not provide any justification for the length of the supervised release term. On remand, the court has adequately explained its decision. Raney has also waived his challenge to the supervised release condition to which he objects. Therefore, we affirm.

         I. Background[1]

         In 2001, Kenneth Raney was convicted of transportation of a minor with intent to engage in a sexual act and attempt to manufacture child pornography. The district court sentenced him to a term of 145 months' imprisonment, which ended on February 10, 2012. Thereafter, he began serving three years of supervised release.

         However, midway through his release term, the district court found that he had violated the terms of that release by possessing a memory stick and maintaining contact with a convicted felon without his probation officer's consent. The court warned Raney that any future violations would result in revocation of his supervised release.

         Raney was back in court a year later. At this revocation hearing, the district court found that he had violated his supervised release conditions in several ways. These included taking several unauthorized day trips with a female acquaintance and her two minor children. All told, Raney had about four months of access to minors without the knowledge of his probation officer. This time, the district court revoked his supervised release and sentenced him to nine months' imprisonment followed by another two years of supervised release.

         On appeal, we affirmed the district court's revocation decision, but vacated the sentence. Because the district court did not explain its decision to impose two years of supervised release, we were "unable to review the propriety of the district court's decision." Raney I, 797 F.3d at 467. Although we found that the district court had "arguably justified its selection of the nine month term of imprisonment/' we vacated the entire sentence and remanded for resentencing in light of our opinion. Id.

         On remand, the district court imposed the same sentence. Because Raney's term of imprisonment had already ended by the time of his resentencing hearing, the sole effect of the resentencing was to reinstate the two years of supervised release under the same conditions as before. Raney once again challenges the procedural soundness of his sentence. He also appeals the imposition of a condition of supervised release that requires him to "notify third parties of risks that may be occasioned by [his] criminal record or personal history or characteristics."

         II. Discussion

         A. Procedural Soundness

         "Our review of a sentence for violating a term of supervised release is highly deferential, and we will uphold that term unless it is 'plainly unreasonable.'" United States v. Jones, 774 F.3d 399, 403 (7th Cir. 2014) (quoting United States v. Kizeart,505 F.3d 672, 674 (7th Cir. 2007)). We require only that the district court "say something that enables [us] to infer that [it] considered" the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines policy statements and the 18 U.S.C. §§ 3553(a) & 3583(e) sentencing factors. United States v. Ford,798 F.3d 655, 663 (7th Cir. 2015) (quoting United States v. Robertson,648 F.3d 858, 859-60 (7th Cir. 2011)). The district court "need not consider the Section 3553 factors in check-list form." Id. (quoting Jones, 774 F.3d at 404). Nor must it make specific factual ...


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