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February 26, 2005

Booker developments in the morning papers

This Newsday article provides an interesting report on the Third Circuit's approach to Booker pipeline cases:

Without much public debate, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has quietly begun tossing out the sentences of certain felons whose punishments were calculated under mandatory federal sentencing guidelines that had been in place nearly two decades before being declared unconstitutional in January.... The court ... has been sending letters to each criminal defendant with a case currently on the 3rd Circuit docket. The letters ask defendants to write brief letters explaining whether they plan to challenge their sentences, too. "That's highly unusual," Assistant U.S. Attorney Linda Hoffa said. "But how often do you have landmark cases like this?"

As detailed here, there is a rumor going around that the Third Circuit adopted its unique approach to Booker after the Circuit judges polled the district judges on what to do.

Meanwhile, at the district court level, the papers have anecdotal report on more tough post-Booker sentences.  This article from Maryland reports on 22-year (with-the-guidelines) sentence in a cocaine case.  And this article from North Dakota reports on 22-year sentence in a meth case, though the report suggests this sentence may have been a "variance."  The case appears to be another example, previously discussed here, of a judge granting a variance but still imposing a significant prison term.

February 26, 2005 at 10:19 AM | Permalink

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