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April 13, 2005

Big sentencing day at the 8th Circuit

The House's consideration of a proposed Booker fix (backgound and highlights here), as well as an active US Sentencing Commission (hearing details here, new data here), have taken me off the circuit Booker beat.  But thanks to a few thoughtful readers, I see that today the Eighth Circuit has posted on its opinion website a total of eleven opinions in criminal cases.  [Gratuitous Spinal Tap quote: This one goes to eleven."].  Eighth of  these opinion seem to address some sentencing issues.  Called to my particular attention were a number of expositions of the "reasonableness" standard of review.  Below I note and link these cases, along with the descriptions that come directly from the Eighth Circuit's website:

US v. Pizano, No. 04-1348 (8th Cir. Apr. 13, 2005) (available here): In an appeal by the government challenging the extent of the district court's downward departure for substantial assistance under Section 5K1.1., the court finds a departure from a guidelines range of 70-87 months to a sentence of 18 months was not unreasonable; the district court seriously considered the government's recommendation before arriving at its own evaluation of the significance and usefulness of defendant's assistance, and, in accordance with 18 U.S.C. Sec. 3553(c)(2), stated its reasons for departing, which reasons were based on the facts of the case and were related to the nature, extent and significance of the assistance; sentence was consistent with the goals of deterring crime and protecting the public. [PUBLISHED] [Murphy, Author, with Hansen and Melloy, Circuit Judges]

US v. Dalton, No. 04-1361 (8th Cir. Apr. 13, 2005) (available here): In an appeal by the government challenging the extent of the district court's downward departure for substantial assistance under Section 5K1.1, the court finds a departure from the mandatory minimum sentence of 240 months to 60 months was unreasonable; the assistance provided by the defendant was limited, and her cooperation was undercut by the facts that she absconded while on pretrial release and dealt more than six kilograms of methamphetamine while she was on parole from a prior conviction; these facts demonstrated defendant's usefulness was limited and that she had no particular amenability to rehabilitation; an extraordinary reduction must be supported by extraordinary circumstances, and no extraordinary circumstances were shown in this case. Case remanded for resentencing. [PUBLISHED] [Hansen, Author, with Murphy and Melloy, Circuit Judges]

US v. Haack, No. 04-1594 (8th Cir. Apr. 13, 2005) (available here): In an appeal by the government challenging the extent of the district court's downward departure for substantial assistance under Sec. 5K1.1, the court finds a departure from the 120 month mandatory minimum to 18 months was unreasonable and an abuse of discretion; the significance, usefulness, nature and extent of defendant's cooperation did not support the departure; the court also expresses concern that the sentencing court's departure was based, at least in part, on the court's dissatisfaction with the Guidelines, which is neither a proper nor a relevant factor for a departure. Case remanded for resentencing. [PUBLISHED] [Melloy, Author, with Murphy and Hansen, Circuit Judges]

US v. Christenson, No. 04-2084 (8th Cir. Apr. 13, 2005) (available here): In an appeal by the government challenged the extent of the district court's downward departure for substantial assistance under Section 5K1.1, the court finds a 75 percent downward departure was not unreasonable; the court considered the factors set out in 18 U.S.C. Sec. 3553(c) and Section 5K1.1, and based its decision on its evaluation of the extent and usefulness of defendant's cooperation. [PUBLISHED] [Benton, Author, with Smith and Beam, Circuit Judges]

April 13, 2005 at 05:47 PM | Permalink

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Comments

ok my brother is serving 20 months for some charges and he would like to know if there is such a thing as a 120th day review.??

Posted by: jw | Aug 20, 2007 9:30:25 PM

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