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November 3, 2006

SCOTUS to take up Booker reasonableness!!

I have been predicting that the Supreme Court would have to take up a Booker reasonableness case before too long, and today that prediction became a reality.  Lyle Denniston has the highlights of this exciting news here:

The Supreme Court agreed on Friday to decide whether a criminal sentence that is within the federal guidelines is to be treated as reasonable, and thus valid.  It also said it would rule on whether a sentence below the guideline range is reasonable.  It accepted for review two cases on an issue that has led to a multitude of rulings in lower courts, producing a conflict at least on key aspects of that question.

The Court will hear Claiborne v. U.S. (06-5618) and Rita v. U.S. (06-5754), with oral argument probably in February.  In Claiborne, the Court will examine whether a sentence below the guideline range is reasonable, and whether a sentence that varies substantially from the guidelines can only be imposed in extraordinary situations.  In Rita, it will decide whether a sentence within the range is reasonable, whether such a sentence may be presumed to be reasonable, and whether such a sentence may be imposed without full analysis by the judge of factors that might justify a lesser sentence.

WOWSA!  I will do some digging about the details of Claiborne and Rita and report more in forthcoming posts.

November 3, 2006 at 02:49 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Thanks for the news on the certs (Guideline sentences and "reasonableness"). They were forwarded to my attention by our newest staff member, David Johnson.

I've had your blog on my favorite palces for a long tiime now.

Posted by: Warren Williamson | Nov 3, 2006 4:06:22 PM

Thanks for the news on the certs (Guideline sentences and "reasonableness"). They were forwarded to my attention by our newest staff member, David Johnson.

I've had your blog on my favorite palces for a long tiime now.

Posted by: Warren Williamson | Nov 3, 2006 4:06:30 PM

Well, it was nice (for the most part) while it lasted. Welcome back mandatory guidelines.

Posted by: Bruce | Nov 3, 2006 6:33:43 PM

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