Ingram v. United States

U.S. DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
Criminal Practice

New York Law Journal

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Judge Robert Patterson

Ingram was sentenced in April 2009 to 120 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiring to distribute, and possession with intent to distribute, at least 50 grams of crack cocaine. His motion for 28 USC §2255 relief challenged the disparity between his sentence and that of co-conspirator Dacosta, which purportedly arose from the fact that Ingram's sentencing hearing occurred before enactment of the Fair Sentencing Act, while Dacosta's happened after. Ingram claimed ineffective assistance due to his lawyer's failure to seek an adjournment of his hearing until after the act's enactment. In addition to fatal statute of limitations defects, Ingram's motion failed on the merits. Dacosta's hearing was adjourned so that a Fatico hearing could be held on his role. Dacosta's lawyer first sought adjournment in light of the act's enactment in July 2010, more than one year after Ingram's sentencing hearing. The alleged disparity in sentences violated neither 18 USC §3553(6) nor the U.S. Constitution's equal protection guarantee. Discussing the Supreme Court's decision in Dorsey v. United States, the court held that the disparity between the sentences was sanctioned by Congress and did not violate Ingram's constitutional rights.

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