Wilke contends that the district court erred by denying him the adjustment solely because of the time and money the Government spent before and at trial. According to Wilke, § 3.E1.1(a) of the Guidelines focuses only on whether, in its words, “the defendant clearly demonstrates acceptance of responsibility for his offense,” not on whether he saves Government resources. Saving the Government resources is, rather, the basis for a separate 1-point reduction under § 3E1.1(b).
Whether USSG § 3.E1.1(a) permits consideration of the Government’s
expenditure of resources is a legal question this Court reviews de novo. United States v. Dixon, 984 F.3d 814, 818 (9th Cir. 2020). We conclude that it does not. We are persuaded by the Sixth Circuit’s reasoning in United States v. Hollis, 823 F.3d 1045 (6th Cir. 2016), where it determined that USSG § 3.E1.1(a) is “[b]y its plain terms . . . focused only on whether the defendant ‘clearly demonstrates acceptance of responsibility,’ while subsection (b) . . . is focused only on whether the defendant . . . permit[s] the government to avoid preparing for trial and permit[s] the government and the court to allocate their resources efficiently.” Id. at 1048 (quotations omitted). Considering the Government’s expenditure of resources under subsection (a) risks rendering “parts of § 3E1.1(b) superfluous,” because “[i]f waste of government resources could be a basis for denying the two-level decrease under subsection (a), then there would never be a situation where a defendant would qualify for the decrease under subsection (a) but then be denied the additional decrease under subsection (b) for the reason that his or her late-in-time guilty plea caused the government to waste resources preparing for trial.” Id.
Full case here: USA V. JUSTIN WILKE, https://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/memoranda/2022/09/14/21-30228.pdf
Anton Vialtsin, Esq.
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