Case: 20-10693 Document: 00515700992 Page: 1 Date Filed: 01/11/2021
United States Court of Appeals
for the Fifth Circuit United States Court of Appeals
January 11, 2021
Lyle W. Cayce
United States of America,
Michael Lawrence Williams,
Appeal from the United States District Court
for the Northern District of Texas
USDC No. 5:06-CR-30-1
Before Wiener, Southwick, and Duncan, Circuit Judges.
Michael Lawrence Williams appeals the district court’s denial of his
motion for a reduction in sentence under Section 404 of the First Step Act of
2018. The district court concluded that Williams was eligible for a reduction
but exercised its discretion and denied the motion.
Pursuant to 5th Circuit Rule 47.5, the court has determined that this
opinion should not be published and is not precedent except under the limited
circumstances set forth in 5th Circuit Rule 47.5.4.
Case: 20-10693 Document: 00515700992 Page: 2 Date Filed: 01/11/2021
Williams asserts that the district court committed a procedural error
by failing to explain adequately its decision to deny his motion. He contends
that the district court’s brief explanation in a form order did not address his
arguments for a reduction in sentence or provide a record to which we could
apply meaningful appellate review. However, as Williams acknowledges, his
claim is foreclosed by our caselaw. See United States v. Batiste,
980 F.3d 466
479 (5th Cir. 2020).
Further, Williams argues that the denial of his motion resulted in the
imposition of a substantively unreasonable sentence. He maintains that his
continued incarceration is longer than necessary to comply with the relevant
sentencing objectives and does not account for the need to avoid unwarranted
sentencing disparities among similarly situated defendants. The substantive
reasonableness standard does not apply to motions under Section 404 of the
First Step Act. See
id. at 479-80.
Therefore, as Williams acknowledges, his
claim is foreclosed. See
id. at 479-80.
The Government has filed an unopposed motion for summary
affirmance and, alternatively, requests an extension of time to file its brief.
Because Williams concedes that the issues asserted on appeal are foreclosed,
summary affirmance is proper. See Groendyke Transp., Inc. v. Davis,
406 F.2d 1158
, 1162 (5th Cir. 1969).
Thus, the Government’s motion for summary affirmance is
GRANTED, the Government’s alternative motion for an extension of time
to file a brief is DENIED as moot, and the judgment of the district court is