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United States v. Padilla

filed*fn*: May 11, 1992.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
CARLOS FERNANDO PADILLA, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of California. D.C. No. CR-90-0845-AK-1. Alex Kozinski,*fn** Circuit Judge, Presiding.

Before: Hug, O'scannlain and Trott, Circuit Judges.

MEMORANDUM

Carlos Fernando Padilla appeals from his sentence, following entry of guilty pleas, for bank robbery and use of a dangerous weapon in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2113(a) and (d). Padilla contends that the district court erred by failing to recognize its discretion to depart below the range established by the United States Sentencing Guidelines for career offenders. We lack jurisdiction to review the district court's discretionary decision and dismiss the appeal.

We review de novo the district court's interpretation and application of the Sentencing Guidelines. United States v. Carvajal, 905 F.2d 1292, 1294 (9th Cir. 1990). Nonetheless, a district court's discretionary decision not to depart downward from the applicable Guidelines range is not reviewable on appeal. United States v. Zweber, 913 F.2d 705, 707-08 (9th Cir. 1990) (no jurisdiction "as long as the [district] court in fact exercised its discretion"). Where the district court has properly exercised its discretion to depart downward, the defendant may not challenge the extent of the departure and we lack jurisdiction to review such a challenge. United States v. Vizcarra-Angulo, 904 F.2d 22, 23 (9th Cir. 1990).

Here, Padilla raised three challenges in his objections to the presentence report. First, he asked that the district court decline to sentence him as a career offender despite the fact that he technically met the criteria for career offender status. Alternatively, he requested that the district court depart downward from the applicable sentencing range because the career offender status overrepresented his criminal history. Finally, he argued for a downward departure based on an act of heroism unrelated to his crimes. Following a continuance for supplemental briefing on the latter ground for departure, the district court granted a downward departure of 42 months from the applicable range and sentenced Padilla to 168 months incarceration.

Padilla contends that the district court misunderstood its discretion to depart further due to an "overrepresentative" criminal history category. Nevertheless, the record of the sentencing hearings reveals no mistake. The district court correctly stated that it lacked discretion to ignore the career offender provisions in calculating the applicable range. See U.S.S.G. § 4B1.1; see also United States v. Selfa, 918 F.2d 749, 752 (9th Cir.), cert. denied, 111 S. Ct. 521 (1990). It exercised its discretion to decline to depart downward based on an overrepresented criminal history, noting that Padilla had "a lot of priors" (RT 5/30/91 at 12). The district court also exercised its discretion to depart downward based on the act of heroism, and we lack jurisdiction to review its determination of the proper extent of departure. See Vizcarra-Angulo, 904 F.2d at 23.

DISMISSED.

Disposition

DISMISSE ...


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