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September 14, 2005

Visions of variances

Though we are not hearing any sentencing talk at the Roberts hearing, the federal district courts continue to sentence more than 200 defendants every day.  And this morning a few notable variances or requests for variances are making newspaper headlines:

  • From Minnesota, this story describes the decision by US District Judge Richard Kyle to give the "so-called Fishing Hat Bandit" a sentence 15 years in prison instead of the 7 to 9 years recommended by the federal guidelines.

  • From Texas, this story discusses the request by federal prosecutors for a life sentence, rather than a recommended guideline sentence of 15.5 to 19.5 years, to be imposed on one defendant convicted in a botched smuggling attempt that led to the deaths of 19 illegal immigrants.  (The article does not make clear whether prosecutors has requested an upward departure or a variance.)

  • From Indiana, this story details the decision by US District Judge Richard Young to give probation, rather than a prison sentence within the 41 to 51 month range suggested by the federal guidelines, to a 47-year-old heroin addict and grandmother, who was convicted as part of "what federal prosecutors called the biggest drug-trafficking bust in Evansville's history."

September 14, 2005 at 07:27 AM | Permalink


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