United States v. Taylor

Criminal Practice

New York Law Journal


District Judge Paul Gardephe

Taylor had four prior drug related convictions—three felonies and one misdemeanor—before a jury convicted him on conspiracy and substantive counts of distributing crack cocaine and possessing it with intent to distribute. Two prior convictions—a July 10, 2006, guilty plea to fourth degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, and his Dec. 13, 2007, guilty plea to third degree criminal possession of a controlled substance—qualified Taylor for career offender treatment under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. In response to Taylor's pre-sentencing motion, the court held Taylor a career offender under Guideline §4B1.1. It also determined that application of the career offender provision did not deprive Taylor of any constitutional right. Taylor's two prior felony convictions for "controlled substance offenses"—committed when he was older than 18—prior to his instant felony controlled substance offenses rendered him a career offender under §4B1.1. Additionally, application of the career offender provision neither deprived Taylor of due process, denied him his Sixth Amendment right to trial by jury, constituted cruel and unusual punishment proscribed by the Eighth Amendment, nor constituted double jeopardy violating the Fifth Amendment.

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