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December 8, 2006

Ninth Circuit discusses safety-valve after Booker

Though the Ninth Circuit won't be addressing reasonableness review until the Supreme Court does (story here), a panel today did speak to the application of the so-called safety-valve after Booker in US v. Cardenas-Juarez, No. 05-30250 (9th Cir. Dec. 8, 2006) (available here). Here is the key take-away:

We now hold that the safety valve statute, 18 U.S.C. § 3553(f), survives Booker to require district courts to impose sentences pursuant to the advisory Sentencing Guidelines. This is consistent with congressional intent both to provide relief for less serious offenders and to reduce sentencing disparity. When the statutory safety valve requirements of § 3553(f) are met, "district courts still 'must consult [the] Guidelines and take them into account when sentencing,' even though they now have the discretion to impose non-Guidelines sentences." United States v. Cantrell, 433 F.3d 1269, 1278 (9th Cir. 2006) (quoting Booker, 543 U.S. at 264).

December 8, 2006 at 01:54 PM | Permalink

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