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February 2, 2007

Notable Third Circuit ruling on improper basis for a variance

The Third Circuit today, in US v. Manzella, No. 06-3434 (3d Cir. Feb. 2, 2007) (available here), has an interesting discussion about grounds for a variance.  Here's how it starts:

Section 3582(a) of Title 18 requires sentencing judges to "recogniz[e] that imprisonment is not an appropriate means of promoting correction and rehabilitation." We conclude that the District Court, despite the best of intentions, violated this statutory command by sentencing Valerie Manzella to 30 months of imprisonment solely because a term of that length was believed necessary to make her eligible for a 500-hour drug treatment program offered by the Bureau of Prisons.

Helpfully, the Third Circuit Blog here provides this summary account: "the Third Circuit broke new ground today by reversing, as unreasonably long, a 30-month sentence for counterfeiting checks when the Guidelines range was 2-8 months."

February 2, 2007 at 03:47 PM | Permalink

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