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October 6, 2005

More from 7th Circuit on reasonableness review

A break between talks at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and a borrowed computer allow me to report on the latest Seventh Circuit decision confirming the reality that few (if any?) properly-calculated guideline sentences are going to be found unreasonable after Booker.  In US v. Williams, No. 03-4091 (7th Cir. Oct. 6, 2005) (accessible here), the Seventh Circuit affirms a nearly 10-year sentence at the top of the applicable range for a felon-in-possession conviction and explains (with cites omitted):

Deciding whether or not the sentence imposed by the district court is reasonable entails deferential review.   The question is not how we ourselves would have resolved the factors identified as relevant by section 3553(a) — many of which are vague and, worse perhaps, hopelessly open-ended — nor what sentence we ourselves ultimately might have decided to impose on the defendant.  We are not sentencing judges.  Rather, what we must decide is whether the district judge imposed the sentence he or she did for reasons that are logical and consistent with the factors set forth in section 3553(a). As we have noted, a sentence imposed within a properly calculated Guidelines range is presumptively reasonable.  We have left room for the possibility that there will be some cases in which a sentence within the Guidelines range, measured against the factors identified in section 3553(a), stands out as unreasonable. But those cases ... will be rare.

October 6, 2005 at 03:29 PM | Permalink


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