Monday, June 1, 2009

Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Appeal of Gun Dealer

Today, the United States Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal of an illegal gun dealer who received a longer prison sentence because the guns he sold were going to New York City. Gerard Cavera, a 70 year old military veteran, had been sentenced to six months longer than the federal sentencing guidelines recommended just because the guns were meant to go to New York City. Cavera had illegally sold 16 guns in Florida that were going to be shipped to New York City. The Court found that Caverra knew this when he sold the guns. The federal trial court sentenced Cavera to six months beyond the federal sentencing guideline recommendations because the court found that Caverra knew that the guns were going to a densely populated area with strict gun control laws. The 2nd U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the departure from the federal sentencing guidelines and today, the United States Supreme Court, refused to review the decision of the Court of Appeals thereby upholding the sentence. It is rare for a court to depart from the parameters of the federal sentencing guidelines when sentencing an individual.

As a side note, Judge Sonia Sotomayor, who was nominated last week to the high court, dissented with her fellow judges on the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. She stated in her dissent that only in rare instances should trial judges set prison sentences that are outside of the federal sentencing guidelines.

The case is Cavera v. United States, 08-1081.

For more information about the Chicago criminal defense attorneys at Legal Defenders, P.C., visit us at or call us anytime at 1-800-228-7295.

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