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January 13, 2006

Ninth Circuit expounds on reasonableness review

In a lengthy opinion that provides a useful overview on post-Booker legal basics, the Ninth Circuit today in US v. Cantrell, No. 03-30562 (9th Cir. Jan. 13, 2006) (available here) expounds at length about the structure of appellate review for reasonableness.  Cantrell has a lot of important points, although I do not see any truly ground-breaking facets of the holding.  I was especially intrigued by the Cantrell court's footnote identifying a circuit spilt on how to approach reasonableness review:

The law in the circuits that have thus far addressed this issue is somewhat in disarray.  The two-part review procedure we outline here, requiring our consideration of alleged Guidelines misapplication errors before we consider the reasonableness of the sentence in light of ยง 3553(a), is consistent with the procedures used by the Fifth, Sixth, Eighth and Eleventh Circuits....

The Second and D.C. Circuits, however, review claims of error in the district court's application of the Guidelines as one factor in the course of reviewing the reasonableness of a sentence as a whole.... Finally, the Tenth Circuit has held that the reasonableness standard of review applies only to sentences imposed after Booker, under the newly discretionary sentencing scheme.

January 13, 2006 at 04:02 PM | Permalink

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