United States v. Johnathan Lee Brown

USCA11 Case: 21-13890 Date Filed: 08/04/2022 Page: 1 of 5 [DO NOT PUBLISH] In the United States Court of Appeals For the Eleventh Circuit ____________________ No. 21-13890 Non-Argument Calendar ____________________ UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff-Appellee, versus JOHNATHAN LEE BROWN, Defendant-Appellant. ____________________ Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia D.C. Docket No. 4:21-cr-00007-MLB-WEJ-1 ____________________ USCA11 Case: 21-13890 Date Filed: 08/04/2022 Page: 2 of 5 2 Opinion of the Court 21-13890 Before JILL PRYOR, BRANCH and DUBINA, Circuit Judges. PER CURIAM: Appellant Johnathan Lee Brown appeals the district court’s imposition of his 33-month imprisonment sentence, which is at the low end of the guideline range, for failure to register as a sex of- fender. Brown argues that the district court abused its discretion by denying his motion for a downward departure because his crim- inal history category overrepresented the seriousness of his of- fenses. He also argues that his sentence was substantively unrea- sonable because the district court did not adequately weigh the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors that were entitled to greater consideration, particularly his personal history and characteristics. Having read the parties’ briefs and reviewed the record, we affirm Brown’s sen- tence. I. The sentencing court may depart downward from a defend- ant’s guideline range “[i]f reliable information indicates that the de- fendant’s criminal history category substantially over-represents the seriousness of the defendant’s criminal history or the likelihood that the defendant will commit other crimes.” U.S.S.G. § 4A1.3(b)(1). We lack jurisdiction to review a district court’s dis- cretionary refusal to grant a defendant a downward departure un- der § 4A1.3(b)(1). United States v. Rodriguez, 34 F.4th 961, 975 (11th Cir. 2022). A limited exception exists when a district court believes it lacks authority to grant a downward departure. United USCA11 Case: 21-13890 Date Filed: 08/04/2022 Page: 3 of 5 21-13890 Opinion of the Court 3 States v. Dudley, 463 F.3d 1221, 1228 (11th Cir. 2006). However, that exception is a narrow one, and we maintain a presumption that the district court’s silence on its power to grant such an appli- cation is construed as a proper understanding of its discretion. United States v. Chase, 174 F.3d 1193, 1195 (11th Cir. 1999). A review of the record demonstrates that we lack authority to review the district court’s discretionary decision to deny Brown a downward departure under § 4A1.3 because the record is devoid of evidence rebutting the presumption that the district court be- lieved that it lacked the authority to depart. “[W]hen nothing in the record indicates otherwise, we assume the sentencing court un- derstood it had authority to depart downward.” Id. Accordingly, we will not review this issue. II. We review the reasonableness of a sentence under the def- erential abuse-of-discretion standard. Gall v. United States, 552 U.S. 38, 41, 128 S. Ct. 586, 591 (2007). The party challenging a sen- tence bears the burden of proving that the sentence is unreasonable when examining the record in totality, the factors listed in 18 U.S.C. …

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