United States v. South, No. 04-CR-508 (JBW), 2007 WL 3010632 (E.D.N.Y. Sept. 19, 2007)
South pled guilty to a two count indictment charging robbery and possession of a firearm. Based on a total offense level of 24 and a criminal history category of III, South's advisory Guidelines range for the first count was 63 to 78 months imprisonment. Combined with the 5 year mandatory minimum for the second count, which had to run consecutively, the minimum advisory Guidelines sentence was 123 months imprisonment. But the court imposed a sentence of 81 months, a significant variance from the advisory Guidelines range. Why? South was a mere 12 credits shy of a college degree. The court felt that an 81 month sentence was sufficient to accomplish the purposes of punishment as set forth in 18 U.S.C. 3553(a) but also allow South to accomplish the rehabilitative goal of achieving his college degree.