United States v. Tchiapchis, No. 07-5161-cr (2d Cir. Jan. 9, 2009)
Tchiapchis pled guilty one count of conspiracy to distribute MDMA, and entered into a cooperation agreement with the Government. Although we don't know what sentence was imposed, we do know that it was lower than the advisory Guidelines range of 121 to 151 months. Still, Tchiapchis was unhappy -- primarily because he thought he'd get a greater benefit from his cooperation.
Not so fast, says the Second Circuit. The district court had "acknowledged that Tchiapchis was entitled to a downward departure -- because of the cooperation agreement -- but concluded upon consideration of Tchiapchis's criminal history that a smaller departure than requested was warranted." And the Second Circuit approved.
Criminal history can't change -- you can't unring the bell. Moreover, as I've always understood it, the benefit one receives from cooperation is linked directly to the value of the cooperation provided. Seems like a bum deal to me. Can't blame Tchiapchis for being upset.