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November 2, 2005

First Circuit speaks to fact bargaining and a lot more

Gosh, when it rains it pours.  After relatively quiet Booker times in the circuits lately (save for the recent Olis decision), today we there have been major sentencing rulings from the Seventh Circuit and the Second Circuit and now the First Circuit in US v. Yeje-Cabrera, No. 03-1329 (1st Cir. Nov. 2, 2005) (available here).  Appellate Law & Practice in this post at provides some of the basics of Yeje-Cabrera, and here are parts of the First Circuit's own introduction to the main sentencing issues in the case:

In order to sanction the government for what it considered to be impermissible "fact bargaining," the district court declined to follow the Sentencing Guidelines.  This was error.  The fact bargaining was the government's willingness during earlier unsuccessful plea negotiations to recommend a lower sentence when the facts known to it at the time, or so the court found, justified a higher sentence. The court declined to give a warranted firearms enhancement and did give an unwarranted minimal-role reduction. The court also concluded, mistakenly, that its role as a fact finder with respect to drug quantity for sentencing purposes had been written out of the Sentencing Guidelines by the decision in Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (2000).

November 2, 2005 at 05:42 PM | Permalink

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