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January 24, 2007

Second Circuit reverses another below-guideline sentence

The Second Circuit has released today another decision reversing a below guidelines sentence in US v. Trupin, No. 05-2934 (2d Cir. Jan. 23, 2007) (available here).  Here is the starting paragraph:

This appeal concerns the bounds of "reasonableness" after United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220 (2005).  In particular, we must determine whether it was reasonable for the district court to prescribe a seven-month prison term — amounting to an eighty percent reduction from the bottom of the applicable Sentencing Guidelines range — for a defendant who engaged in a multi-year, multi-million dollar tax evasion scheme.  We hold that the district court's decision was unreasonable; it failed to properly weigh all of the sentencing factors enumerated in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) and the record does not adequately support those factors on which the district court relied.

UPDATE:  An insightful reader sent (and approved my posting) of this comment on Trupin:

Although the facts are not all that sympathetic, one point of particular note was the way CA2 criticized the district judge for complaining that the particular guideline was too harsh. It seems like district judges are certainly within their discretion, in considering whether to impose a guidelines sentence, to express this sort of view. Also, though one might disagree with the judge's conclusions about the defendant's age and the other factors, CA2 seems to go out of its way to engage in a sort of rigorous second-guessing that seems inappropriate.

January 24, 2007 at 04:32 PM | Permalink


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