At Sentencing, a District Court is not Required to Address Every Discrete Point Contained in a Complex, Nuanced Psychological Report so Long ss the Court Addresses the Evidence Generally

Seventh Circuit Criminal Case Summaries: Sentencing - Reasonableness - Procedural

United States v. Hodge, No. 12-2458. At the defendant’s sentencing hearing for multiple child pornography offenses, the defendant offered the testimony in mitigation of a psychiatrist. When imposing sentence, the district court discussed some of the experts findings, but neglected to mention his contentions that the defendant’s history of sexual and psychological abuse as a child contributed to his decision to commit his offenses and that the defendant was unlikely to reoffend. On appeal, the defendant claimed that the district court’s failure to adequately address this aspect of the expert’s testimony required resentencing. The Court of Appeals disagreed, noting that the court discussed the expert’s conclusions at length. Although the court ultimately drew different inferences from the expert’s testimony than the defendant urged, the district court was free to disagree with the defendant as to what inferences should be drawn from the testimony. Although the court did not address every conclusion the expert made, a district court is not required to specifically address every discrete point contained in a complex, nuanced psychological report.