Henderson v. United States of America: The Weight of and Wait for Rehabilitation Robert C. Edgar
Palm Beach State College
Professor Maclachlan, Ph.D.
POS 1041, 161889
Henderson v. United States of America: The Weight of and Wait for Rehabilitation Armarcion D. Henderson was a felon…a felon with a problem of substance abuse. On June 2, 2010, having being found guilty on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm, the District Court for the Western District of Louisiana gave an upward deviation from the guidelines of sentencing of 60 months, the norm being 33-41 months, with reasoning solely attributable to the cause of rehabilitation. The court wanted to ensure that Henderson received the proper post-sentencing rehabilitation for his vice. Mr. Henderson at the time had no objection. On June 10, 2010, slightly more than a week of pondering the close to double term, Henderson petitioned the court, asking for a correction on a clear error – the length of his sentence. On July 30, 2010, the district court denies the motion to correct the sentence for clear error. It should be noted that no such law clearly defined the role of rehabilitation with regard to sentencing of the accused. A U.S. Supreme Court case involving the almost exact scenario, Tapia v. United States, on June 16, 2011, held the following: “a court may not impose or lengthen a prison sentence to enable an offender to complete a treatment program or otherwise to promote rehabilitation.” Id. at 2393; see also id. at 2385 (“The Sentencing Reform Act precludes federal courts from imposing or lengthening a prison term in order to promote a criminal defendant’s rehabilitation”). (11). This now clarified the otherwise murky law regarding rehabilitation with regard to sentence and gave new life to Henderson’s cause. On July 8, 2011, Henderson filed an appeal to the UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT, before circuit judges, Smith, Southwick, and Graves. His...
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