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January 6, 2006

Seventh Circuit expounds still further on reasonableness review

In a decision that, coincidentally, echoes some of the Eighth Circuit's reasonableness work today, the Seventh Circuit in US v. Vaughn, No. 05-1518 (7th Cir. Jan. 6, 2006) (available here) has an important discussion of the scope and particulars of reasonableness review.  Though covering a lot of interesting ground, Vaughn seems especially notable for its reiteration of the Seventh Circuit's view of the concepts of departure and appellate review after Booker.  Here's a key snippet (with cites omitted):

[A]s we recently remarked, the concept of a discretionary departure โ€” over which we previously had no jurisdiction โ€” has been rendered obsolete in the post- Booker world. Instead, what is at stake is the reasonableness of the sentence, not the correctness of the departures as measured against pre-Booker decisions that cabined the discretion of sentencing courts to depart from guidelines that were then mandatory. Post-Booker, because we must review all sentences for reasonableness in light of the factors specified in ยง 3553(a), we necessarily must scrutinize, as part of that review, the district court's refusal to depart from the advisory sentencing range.

January 6, 2006 at 02:31 PM | Permalink


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