Everette Antwon Burrell caught a break with a boot-camp sentence early in his criminal career, but that sentence came back to haunt him years later.
Burrell was sentenced to boot camp for a 1993 drug conviction. When he came up for sentencing in Richmond federal court for a later cocaine conviction, the district court said the boot-camp sentence counted toward labeling Burrell a “career offender” eligible for an enhanced sentence. In an unpublished opinion issued Dec. 16 in U.S. v. Burrell, the 4th Circuit signed off on the sentence.
The 4th Circuit said although it had “yet to address this specific issue, two other Courts of Appeals” – the 7th and 5th Circuits – “have held that “time served in a boot-camp style program counts as a form of imprisonment under the sentencing guidelines.”
The panel said in its per curiam opinion that it found persuasive the 5th Circuit rationale that physical confinement is “key,” and the sentencing guidelines make no distinction between confinement for rehabilitative purposes and incarceration to remove the offender from society.
Burrell’s boot-camp sentence qualified as a “sentence of imprisonment” under USSG § 4A1.2(b) and he was properly sentenced as a career offender, the 4th Circuit said.
By Deborah Elkins