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January 13, 2006

Eleventh Circuit affirms significant below-guideline sentence

Providing a notable conclusion to an amazing sentencing week, the federal circuit courts today have released yet another set of notable Booker opinions. First of the bunch to catch my eye is the Eleventh Circuit's per curiam work in US v. Williams, No. 05-11594 (11th Cir. Jan. 13, 2006) (available here), in which the court affirms, over the government's appeal, a below guideline sentence in a crack case.

Here are a few passages from an opinion that pays a lot of attention to the provisions of 3553(a) and also provides significant guidance for the exercise of discretion after Booker:

The court concluded its final sentence of 90 months' imprisonment was "sufficient, but not greater than necessary" to punish, deter, and rehabilitate Williams. See 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a).  The court repeatedly stated it thought a sentence of 188 months was unreasonable for a crime involving the sale of only $350 of crack cocaine....

This is not a case where the district court imposed a non-Guidelines sentence based solely on its disagreement with the Guidelines. In this case, the district court correctly calculated the Guidelines range and gave specific, valid reasons for sentencing lower than the advisory range.  Applying the principles of review in light of the § 3553(a) factors and the reasons given by the district court, the 90- month sentence imposed was reasonable.

January 13, 2006 at 03:19 PM | Permalink

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Posted by: richard | Jun 26, 2007 1:51:03 PM

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