Justices rule for Mexican man in sentencing case

WASHINGTON (AP) — A unanimous Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a Mexican man who said he received an unfairly long prison sentence for re-entering the United States after being deported.

The justices ruled Wednesday that Saul Molina-Martinez’s rights were violated when a federal judge used the wrong sentencing guideline range to give him a 77-month prison sentence.

Molina-Martinez should have been subject to a guideline range of 70 months to 87 months. But the judge mistakenly placed Molina-Martinez in a higher category that called for a range of 77 months to 96 months.

A federal appeals court ruled that the error didn’t violate Molina-Martinez’s rights because the judge’s sentence was within both the correct and incorrect ranges.

The Supreme Court disagreed and ordered a new sentencing hearing.