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May 1, 2006

Fourth Circuit discusses admissions and alternative sentence

The Fourth Circuit today in US v. Revels, No. 05-4142 (4th Cir. May 1, 2006) (available here), discusses at some length the concept of admissions and the impact of an alternative sentence during the Blakely-Booker interregnum.  Here are the basics from the start of the opinion:

Joseph Revels brings this challenge under United States v. Booker, 125 S. Ct. 738 (2005), to the district court's application of a four-level sentencing enhancement and its imposition of a 120-month sentence under the then-mandatory Sentencing Guidelines.  We hold that the district court committed Sixth Amendment error because the facts underlying the four-level enhancement were neither admitted by the defendant nor proved to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt.  But we also hold that because the district court issued an alternative identical sentence treating the Guidelines as advisory only, any error was rendered harmless. We therefore affirm the judgment of the district court.

May 1, 2006 at 03:12 PM | Permalink

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