« Important drug-free zone report | Main | Remarkable district court work on substantial assistance »

March 24, 2006

Fourth Circuit reverses another below-guideline sentence

Continuing what is now a well-established reasonableness review pattern, the Fourth Circuit Thursday reversed a below-guideline sentence in US v. Hampton, No. 05-4224 (4th Cir. Mar. 23, 2006) (available here).  The panel's decision in Hampton and a brief concurrence by Judge Motz merit a close read for a view on reasonableness in the Fourth Circuit.  Here is the money paragraph of the majority opinion:

In order to withstand reasonableness scrutiny, such a dramatic variance from the advisory guideline range must be supported by compelling justifications related to § 3553(a) factors, and "excessive weight" may not be given to any single factor. The sentence at issue here fails in both of these respects. First, although the district court briefly mentioned two § 3553(a) factors — deterrence and protection of the public — in setting forth the variance sentence, the court never explained how the sentence imposed — probation — served these interests.  Furthermore, the court did not explain how this variance sentence better served the competing interests of § 3553(a) than the guidelines sentence would.

March 24, 2006 at 01:19 AM | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451574769e200d8355e794869e2

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Fourth Circuit reverses another below-guideline sentence:

Comments

Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB