High court affirms Calvo’s sentence on remand


The Supreme Court affirmed yesterday the sentence imposed on Patrick M. Calvo, who has been convicted of molesting his own daughter.

The high court issued its opinion in Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands v. Patrick M. Calvo yesterday.

This is Calvo’s second appeal related to the sexual abuse of his daughter, who was a minor at the time of the crime.

Calvo’s initial appeal asserted various errors, both during trial and sentencing. The high court affirmed Calvo’s convictions but remanded to cure a technical defect.

In September 2016, Calvo was resentenced to eight years of prison, with one year suspended, and seven years of probation.

He appealed his sentence arguing: (1) the trial court impermissibly used elements of the offense as aggravating factors; (2) the imposition of probation violated his 14th Amendment Due Process protection against vindictive sentencing; and (3) curing the technical defect on remand violated double jeopardy.

The high court reviewed Calvo’s resentence. It determined that the trial court did not abuse its discretion because it imposed a sufficiently individualized sentence and using elements of an offense to discuss the nature, severity, or degree of the crime is proper.

The Supreme Court found that Calvo’s resentence was not based solely on the elements of the offense, but was supported by additional mitigating and aggravating factors.

The court also considered whether Calvo’s resentence was vindictive. It found that Calvo’s resentence was not vindictive because the presumption is triggered when the length of a sentence imposed on remand is increased.

Calvo’s sentence imposed on remand remained the same, 15 years. The only difference between his original sentence and his resentence is that on remand, one year of his prison term was suspended.

Finally, the high court considered whether the resentence violated double jeopardy. The Supreme Court found that Calvo’s double jeopardy protections were not violated because he did not have a reasonable expectation of finality in his eight-year prison term only.

As a result, the Supreme Court affirmed Calvo’s resentence.

The Supreme Court’s full opinion is available at http://www.cnmilaw.org/supreme18.html.

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