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January 26, 2006

Notable safety-valve Booker ruling from the Second Circuit

The Second Circuit today in US v. Holguin, No. 04-5277 (2d Cir. Jan. 26, 2006) (available here), thoughtfully discusses (and rejects) a set of Booker-based claims about judicial fact-finding in the application of the statutory safety-valve to mandatory minimum sentencing statutes.  Here is a sentence from the decision's official summary:

We hold that the District Court did not violate the defendant-appellant's constitutional rights nor did it commit sentencing error under United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220 (2005), when it rejected the defendant-appellant's request for relief under the "safety valve" statute, 18 U.S.C. ยง 3553(f), based on judicially-determined findings as to his criminal history and role under the United States Sentencing Guidelines.

Among other interesting aspects of Holguin is this interesting articulation of the meaning and reach of the Apprendi line of cases:

Apprendi, Blakely, and Booker teach that facts supporting a sentence must be found by a jury when they are either (1) a condition of guilt of the crime, or (2) permit a higher maximum sentence to be imposed.  Facts that permit a higher maximum sentence are treated like conditions of guilt of a crime because they effectively function to create a separate offense.

January 26, 2006 at 03:08 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Thanks for such an informative site. I am a federal defendant and I am trying to learn about the guidelines, etc.

Posted by: j.s. christian | Mar 22, 2006 9:59:54 PM

I'm a defendant in a drug conspiracy charge,being charged as a co conspirator and i had nothing to do with.

Posted by: raul martinez | Oct 21, 2006 5:23:28 PM

i have state case, traffiking more 100grams cocaine, this is my first casei got not violence cases,do you think i'am eligible for safety valve

Posted by: rafael reyes | Dec 17, 2006 12:11:31 PM

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