- 4th Circuit Court of Appeals
- United States of America
David Cox was accused of Conspiracy by the Federal Government in 2009. They brought about charges of selling more then 1.5 million dollars worth of cocaine, marijuana, and crack based cocaine. When offered a plea bargain of "17 to life", David refused to sign because he was not guilty of what they accused.
During trial, the Jury was instructed by Judge Terrance Boyles, that David would be sentenced based on the amount/weight they found him responsible for. Admitting that he was a drug user, the Jury found David guilty on a special verdict sheet of "less then 500 grams of cocaine ONLY". The federal guidelines for this would range 0 - 5 years in prison.
Two months later, David was sentenced 20 years in Federal prison, after the judge added the entire amount in sentencing, even though this is not what the Jury found David should be held accountable for. The United States Supreme Court has made decisions concerning criminal sentencing, and found that the Sixth Amendment right to jury trial requires that, other than a prior conviction, only facts admitted by a defendant or proved beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury may be used to calculate a sentence.
Judge Terrance Boyle was wrong in how he calculated and sentenced David Cox, and it should be fixed!
We the undersigned feel that the Supreme Court is correct in its previous rulings; The Sixth Amendment right to jury trial requires that, other than a prior conviction, only facts admitted by a defendant or proved beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury may be used to calculate a sentence.
Judge Terrance Boyle did not follow what the Jury found David Cox responsible for, and we think his sentenced should be corrected. This is not only an injustice to David, but also an injustice of the Sixth Amendment in general, and it undermines the fact-finding of a Trial Jury.
The Right to procedural fairness for David Cox petition to 4th Circuit Court of Appeals was written by Angela Cox and is in the category Civil Rights at GoPetition.