KRAVITCH, Circuit Judge:
Appellant was convicted of converting pledged property in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 714m(c). Although originally sentenced to four years imprisonment, with all but an indeterminate six months suspended, and five years probation, appellant was resentenced to a straight four-year term after the district court realized that it had misapprehended certain factual matters, through no fault of appellant. This case presents a single issue: whether the resentencing violated the constitutional guarantee against double jeopardy. Concluding that it did, we reverse.
John Robert Jones was a farmer in Candler County, Georgia. Drought conditions in Georgia caused disastrous crop yields in 1977, 1978 and 1979. Finding himself in narrow financial straits, in 1979 Jones turned to the federal government for relief. Under one federal loan program, farmers may pledge their future crop yield as collateral for operating capital. Jones took advantage of the program, pledging his soybean crop. In 1980, the Commodity Credit Corporation granted Jones permission to sell his 1979 soybean crop on the condition that the crop receipts be used to repay the loan. Instead Jones used the proceeds to finance the 1980 planting. Due to another poor crop yield he was unable to repay the loan, and this prosecution ensued. Though still in need of funds following the 1981 crop year, Jones was unable to obtain financing from the government or his bank. He therefore incorporated his farm and placed all of the shares in his wife's name. She in turn pledged the shares for a bank loan to finance the 1982 planting.
Jones agreed to plead guilty to the charge against him and cooperated fully with investigating authorities, detailing all aspects of the crop transactions. In return, the government agreed that it would bring Jones' cooperation to the court's attention and make no recommendation at sentencing. After Jones' plea was accepted, the Probation Office conducted a full investigation of Jones' affairs. In the course of this investigation, Jones divulged the details of the farm incorporation. This information evidently was never included in the presentence report, nor was it otherwise transmitted to the district judge.
On August 26, 1982, Jones appeared for sentencing. At that time, the Probation Office recommended a straight sentence of four years imprisonment. The district court, however, imposed a fine of $10,000.00 and a split sentence of four years imprisonment with all but six months suspended, and five years probation. The six months was not to be served immediately; for the interim suspended portion of the sentence, the court imposed a number of additional conditions: (1) that Jones continue with an alcohol abuse program and report to any physician specified by his Probation Officer, (2) that he consent to the appointment of a receiver to administer and sell his property, including crops, and (3) that he make restitution to the government. Because Jones could not assist with the soybean harvest from prison, the sentence was to commence with the suspended portion, and the six months incarceration was to be served at a later date.
The district judge explained his reasons for the sentence imposed. He felt that Jones had a poor background: he had shown constant disregard for society's rules and had been afflicted with alcoholism. Consequently, the court's primary concern in sentencing was not rehabilitation; rather, the court sought to strike the correct balance between the government's interest in recouping its "enormous" loss and the necessity of making an example of Jones for other farmers. After learning that the government had no means of harvesting Jones' crop, the court decided upon the split sentence.
The district judge stated several times that on August 26th it had "imposed" sentence. He further noted that Jones had reported to the Marshal and "perhaps reported to the Probation Officer...." He stated, however, that it was his understanding that he was free to resentence so long as Jones had not yet begun to serve the original sentence. Although he had reported to the Marshal and Probation Officer, "Jones has not begun to serve any sentence until I order him to report [for incarceration], which I have not yet done." The court concluded:
Tr. 4:27. Whereupon, Jones was sentenced to four years incarceration.
The government offers two main arguments on appeal. First, it asserts that a sentence is not final, and therefore may be enhanced, at any time prior to the trial judge's signing the sentencing order. Second, the government cites United States v. DiFrancesco, 449 U.S. 117, 101 S.Ct. 426, 66 L.Ed.2d 328 (1980), as support for the proposition that the Double Jeopardy Clause has no application to the revision of a sentence.
Appellant asserts that the relevant question is not whether the sentence is final, as determined by affixing a signature to a commitment order, but whether the defendant has begun to serve the sentence. According to appellant, once service of the sentence commences, the Double Jeopardy Clause bars the district court from recalling the defendant and enhancing his sentence. Appellant maintains that he had begun to serve his sentence by reporting to the Marshal and Probation Officer and by following the numerous conditions set out by the district court.
The district court's assertion to the contrary notwithstanding, we agree that at the time of the resentencing, Jones had begun to serve his sentence. We base our conclusion on the language used by the district court at the two sentencing proceedings as well as the concessions made by the government at oral argument.
Based on the record and arguments, we have no doubt that after the sentencing on August 26th, Jones was subject to the restraining conditions of, and was serving, his sentence. In light of the reality of the situation, we reject the government's argument that the sentence was not "final" until signed, at least insofar as "finality" may relate to our determination under the Double Jeopardy Clause. That, however, is the beginning, not the end, of our analysis.
Our inquiry continues with United States v. DiFrancesco, 449 U.S. 117, 101 S.Ct. 426, 66 L.Ed.2d 328 (1980), the Supreme Court's pronouncement on double jeopardy rights as they pertain to sentencing. In DiFrancesco, the defendant was convicted under the federal racketeering laws and sentenced as a dangerous special offender to two ten-year prison terms to be served concurrently with each other and concurrently with a nine-year sentence imposed in unrelated federal proceedings. In other words, the district court imposed the equivalent of only one additional year's incarceration under the dangerous special offender statute. The government appealed the sentence on the ground that the district court abused its discretion by imposing only one additional year. Believing it could not enhance a sentence on an appeal by the government, the court of appeals dismissed the appeal on double jeopardy grounds. The Supreme Court granted certiorari and reversed.
Although the Court in DiFrancesco addressed a different issue from the precise issue now before us,
This case falls squarely within the conditional parenthetical. We know from DiFrancesco that the sentencing court may
We are able to draw two lessons from that opinion. First, the Double Jeopardy Clause bars multiple punishment, i.e., punishment in excess of that permitted by law. Id. at 438. Second, the Double Jeopardy Clause respects the defendant's "legitimate expectations" as to the length of his sentence. Id. at 437.
The first principle is derived from the DiFrancesco Court's discussion of Ex parte Lange, 18 Wall 163, 21 L.Ed. 872 (1874). In Lange, the defendant was convicted of "appropriating to his own use mail bags," a violation of federal law punishable by "imprisonment for not more than one year or a fine of not less than $10.00 nor more than $200.00." Id. at 164 (emphasis in original). Lange was sentenced on November 3, 1873, to both one year in prison and a $200.00 fine. The fine was paid on the following date. On November 8, 1873, the defendant appeared again before the judge on a writ of habeas corpus. The prior sentence was vacated and a sentence of one year's imprisonment from that date was imposed. Id. The Lange Court reversed on the ground that the Double Jeopardy Clause prohibited what would be in effect double punishment. The issue was addressed rhetorically:
Id. at 175 (emphasis in original).
In United States v. Benz, 282 U.S. 304, 307, 51 S.Ct. 113, 114, 75 L.Ed. 354 (1931), the Supreme Court intimated, in dictum, that the rule of Lange was that, once service begins, the sentencing judge cannot enhance a sentence. In DiFrancesco, however, the Court laid all speculation to rest, stating:
101 S.Ct. at 438. Lange, therefore, enunciated a rule no broader than that "a defendant may not receive a greater sentence than the legislature has authorized." Id. See also Missouri v. Hunter, ___ U.S. ___, 103 S.Ct. 673,
The second principle, that the "legitimate expectations" of the defendant are protected by the Double Jeopardy Clause, also is rooted in DiFrancesco. The relevance of the defendant's expectations stems from one of the purposes of the Double Jeopardy Clause — to avoid repeatedly subjecting the defendant to "embarrassment, expense, anxiety, and insecurity in the possibility that he may be found guilty even though innocent." 101 S.Ct. at 437. Although these factors are of less concern in sentencing, after the defendant already has been found guilty, they were nonetheless central to the DiFrancesco decision. There the Court concluded that because a sentence under the dangerous special offender statute is explicitly subject to increase on appeal, DiFrancesco's "legitimate expectations" were no greater than "the expectations of the defendant who is placed on parole or probation that later is revoked." Id. We presume, therefore, that if the legitimate expectations of a defendant in Jones' position are frustrated by resentencing, double jeopardy rights would be implicated.
While resentencing posed no danger of multiple punishment in this case,
We note initially that both before and after his guilty plea was accepted, Jones cooperated with the authorities, fully disclosing the various transactions relating to his soybean crops, including the incorporation of his farm. At no point in the sentencing process did he engage in deception, for he neither affirmatively misrepresented his affairs nor deliberately withheld pertinent information. At the second sentencing proceeding, the district court stressed that neither Jones nor his counsel were responsible for the court's mistaken impression as to the likelihood of restitution. The court declared:
Tr. 4:26-28 (emphasis added).
For the purpose of determining the legitimacy of a defendant's expectations, we draw a distinction between one who intentionally deceives the sentencing authority or thwarts the sentencing process and one who is forthright in every respect. Whereas the former will have purposely created any error on the sentencer's part and thus can have no legitimate expectation regarding the sentence thereby procured, the latter, being blameless, may legitimately expect that the sentence, once imposed and commenced, will not later be enhanced. Under this analysis, unless the statute explicitly provides for sentence modification, as in DiFrancesco, or the defendant knowingly
One might argue that although Jones was perfectly candid when dealing with the investigative authorities and the Probation Office, he was, or should have been, aware that the judge was under a mistaken impression at the original sentencing hearing, and hence Jones' expectations with respect to the sentence imposed were not legitimate. We, however, are disinclined to adopt an analysis requiring us to explore the subjective understanding of the particular defendant, or the reasonable understanding of a hypothetical defendant, under a given set of circumstances. In our judgment, the rule set forth above would more fairly and accurately isolate those cases in which the defendants' expectations are legitimate.
Moreover, an examination of the facts presented in this case suggests that a reasonable person in Jones' position would not have been aware of the district court's error when initially sentenced. At the August 26th sentencing, the court emphasized the government's interest in recoupment and noted that Jones' availability for harvesting would be essential to any recoupment. The judge's comments, however, did not reveal that he was ignorant of the incorporation of the farm and the loan from the bank, for had he been aware of these matters, the judge might still have imposed the same sentence rather than foreclosing all possibility of restitution by requiring immediate incarceration. Thus, even though Jones may have been aware of the difficulties which the government would face in recouping the loss, we cannot assume that Jones knew that the trial judge had not appreciated the extent of those difficulties and would have imposed a harsher sentence if he had. Analyzing the specific situation at the time of sentencing, we again conclude that Jones' expectations as to the initial sentence were legitimate and that resentencing violated his double jeopardy rights.
For the foregoing reasons, we reverse the judgment of the district court altering Jones' sentence and remand for proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion.
REVERSED and REMANDED.
Tr. 3:27-28, 33. (emphasis added).