March 21, 2014 4th Circuit published opinion

United States v Blackman

Blackman was convicted of conspiracy and firearms violations arising from a series of armed robberies. His sentence included restitution but nor forfeiture. Blackman appealed his firearms conviction and the government appealed the lack of a forfeiture sentence. The panel affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded. It affirmed the firearm conviction based on the Pinkerton doctrine as Blackman knew that his coconspirators would use firearms and he was vital tot eh success of the conspiracy as the person who sold the stolen goods. It reversed on the forfeiture issue and remanded for entry of a forfeiture order because 28 USC 2461(c) requires forfeiture, forfeiture and restitution serve different interests, the government’s ability to collect exceeds most crime victims and the order is for all proceeds of the crime not just those in Blackman’s possession. The panel rejected Blackman’s 8th Amendment argument noting the amount of the forfeiture order will be below the maximum fine for the crime of robbery and Blackman played a significant role in the crimes.

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