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April 17, 2006

Telling twosome from Eighth Circuit

The Eighth Circuit today has two notable published sentencing opinions today:

  • US v. Bueno, No. 04-2289 (8th Cir. Apr. 17, 2006) (available here), continues the circuit's trend of reversing as unreasonable nearly every below-guideline sentence it reviews.  The court in Bueno reverses all of the district court's pre-Booker guideline determinations that favored the defendant, and then simply summarily asserts that the 18-month sentence given below "does not adequately reflect the seriousness of Bueno's offense, afford adequate deterrence, or adequately avoid sentencing disparities among similarly situated defendants."

  • US v. Fowler, No. 05-2532 (8th Cir. Apr. 17, 2006) (available here), in contrast, is a win for the defendant.  In Fowler, the panel holds that "the government materially breached its plea agreement by advocating for the imposition of the career-offender enhancement, in spite of its promise to recommend that the district court calculate Fowler's sentence based on an offense level that did not include that enhancement."

April 17, 2006 at 01:24 PM | Permalink


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what nerve by the government prosecutor in the Fowler case. I suspect this type of behavior goes on all the time, and rarely gets sanctioned by an appeals court

Posted by: brian | Apr 17, 2006 2:07:50 PM

The problems posed for defendants when plea agreements are ignored was also the subject of a recent 2nd Circuit case:

United States v. Roe, Docket Nos. 04-5677-cr (L), 04-5932-cr (CON), 2006 WL 925185 (2d Cir. April 11, 2006) which is noted noted below.

Shouldn't there be some less ad hoc way of dealing w/ abandoned deals? A special master for enforcing plea agreements?

Posted by: Daniel Millstone | Apr 17, 2006 4:02:35 PM

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