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August 16, 2005

Eighth Circuit reverses sentence for failure to consult

The Eighth Circuit, which still produces notable sentencing opinions each day and has now disposed of over 350 appeals with some Booker issue, today in US v. Davila, No. 04-3720 (8th Cir. Aug. 16, 2005) (available here) reverses a sentence imposed during the Blakely/Booker interregnum because the district court failed to consult the guidelines:

The PSR set Davila's total offense level at 40 and his criminal history category at I. Given these calculations, the Guidelines advised a range of 292 to 365 months' imprisonment.  Davila's sentence was nowhere near this range, and the district court did not provide a reasoned analysis for sentencing Davila to 156 months' imprisonment.  The district court expressed its desire to sentence Davila to 120 months' imprisonment, the statutory minimum.  Without fully understanding the reasons behind the district court's discretionary sentence calculated by completely disregarding the Guidelines and without discussing the section 3553(a) factors, we are left with grave doubt as to whether the district court would have sentenced Davila to 156 months' imprisonment had the court understood its obligation to consider the Guidelines in sentencing Davila.  Thus, we must remand this case to the district court to resentence Davila by following Booker.

August 16, 2005 at 11:45 AM | Permalink

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