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Concurrent Jail Terms Deemed Reasonable on Appeal

A convicted drug offender must serve out a pair of sentences he received after repeatedly violating conditions of his release, according to a federal appeals panel that rejected his claim that additional jail time didn’t fit the offense he’d committed. After breaking parole following a concurrent stretch for a pair of convictions and being resentenced to time in a halfway house, Micheal Allgire skipped out and spent seven months on the run before being apprehended. A Southern Illinois District Court judge ordered Allgire back to jail for two more years following a revocation hearing, citing his repeated disregard for the law as the reason for issuing the concurrent sentences — one for each count of the original convictions — to keep him behind bars.

Allgire claimed the two sentences were unreasonable given they exceeded guidelines and that the district court lacked the authority to sentence him concurrently because he committed only one violation – that of flight from the halfway house. However, justices in the US Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit disagreed, finding the sentence within federal rules. They cited case law in saying that Allgire’s challenge failed to meet the four-prong conditions for proving plain error in the district court’s sentence. They found that a 17-month term that ran concurrently with the 24-month sentence didn’t infringe Allgire’s substantial rights because he’d serve that term in any case.