United States v. Watts, 519 U.S. 148, 7 (1997) (per curiam)

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154

UNITED STATES v. WATTS

Per Curiam

sider all other related conduct, whether or not it resulted in a conviction. Justice Stevens also contends that because Congress instructed the Sentencing Commission, in 28 U. S. C. 994(l), to ensure that the Guidelines provide incremental punishment for a defendant who is convicted of multiple offenses, it could not have meant for the Guidelines to increase a sentence based on offenses of which a defendant has been acquitted. Post, at 168. The statute is not, however, "cast in restrictive or exclusive terms." United States v. Ebbole, 917 F. 2d 1495, 1501 (CA7 1990). Far from limiting a sentencing court's power to consider uncharged or acquitted conduct, 994(l) simply ensures that, at a minimum, the Guidelines provide additional penalties when defendants are convicted of multiple offenses. Ibid. If we accepted Justice Stevens' logic, 994(l) would prohibit a district court from considering acquitted conduct for any sentencing purposes, whether for setting the guidelines range or for choosing a sentence within that range—a novel proposition that Justice Stevens does not defend. Post, at 162. In short, we are convinced that a sentencing court may consider conduct of which a defendant has been acquitted.

The Court of Appeals' position to the contrary not only conflicts with the implications of the Guidelines, but it also seems to be based on erroneous views of our double jeopardy jurisprudence. The Court of Appeals asserted that, when a sentencing court considers facts underlying a charge on which the jury returned a verdict of not guilty, the defendant " 'suffer[s] punishment for a criminal charge for which he or she was acquitted.' " Watts, 67 F. 3d, at 797 (quoting Brady, 928 F. 2d, at 851). As we explained in Witte, however, sentencing enhancements do not punish a defendant for crimes of which he was not convicted, but rather increase his sentence because of the manner in which he committed the crime of conviction. 515 U. S., at 402-403. In Witte, we held that a sentencing court could, consistent with the Double Jeopardy Clause, consider uncharged cocaine importation

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