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Document Type

Comments

Abstract

In February 2020, the Second Circuit held in United States v. Taylor that the Federal Sentencing Guidelines’ enhancement for physical restraint of a victim did not apply to a defendant who threatened a victim with a gun during a robbery. In reaching its decision, the court created a three-part test to determine when a defendant restrained a victim during a robbery. The Taylor test provides a much needed limitation on the scope of the enhancement--the application of which has expanded in the First, Fourth, and Tenth Circuits to defendants who did no more than briefly point a gun at a victim. This Comment examines the different approaches to applying the restraint enhancement and their compatibility with the goals of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. It argues that the test that the Second Circuit proposed in Taylor is the most straightforward and effective way to increase clarity and reduce disparity between similarly situated defendants.

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