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David Dove, a 25-year old man living with his two children, fiance, and her two parents, has pled guilty in federal district court to one count of...
David Dove, a 25-year old man living with his two children, fiancée, and her two parents, has pled guilty in federal district court to one count of distributing cocaine base. Dove has one prior arrest, but has never been incarcerated. At 16, he was charged with possession of marijuana, but the charge was dismissed. He was convicted of assault and battery at age 18, which resulted in six months of probation. After that, Dove learned his girlfriend was pregnant, dropped out of school, became a member of a union, and maintained steady employment, until his arrest on this current charge. He supports his children, his fiancée, and her parents; all of whom say that Dove is a wonderful father and person. His family states his incarceration would have an extreme detrimental effect on all of them. Under the sentencing guidelines, Dove would be sentenced to 77 months in prison. He has asked for a downward departure to 60 months. Please address the following questions.
1. If you were the judge, would you grant Dove's request for a downward departure? Why or why not? Please justify your opinion.
2. What punishment purposes should guide you in making your decision(s)?
3. As a judge, does the impact of Dove's incarceration on the other members of his family affect your decision in this case? Why or why not?