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June 20, 2007

Sixth Circuit affirms below guideline involuntary manslaughter sentence

The Sixth Circuit this morning has two notable sentencing rulings today with US v. Kathman, No. 06-5669 (6th Cir. June 20, 2007) (available here), and US v. Garner, No. 05-4215 (6th Cir. June 20, 2007) (available here).  Garner simply confirms that Booker does not allow a district court to evade application of a statutory mandatory minimum, while Kathman affirms a below-guideline sentence by stressing that "the advisory nature of the guidelines provides greater discretion to the district court" after Booker.

Kathman is the more interesting read, in part because the defendant's crimes of conviction were "two counts of involuntary manslaughter resulting from an automobile accident in a national park that killed his two passengers."   Among many morals to be drawn from Kathman is don't drink and drive.

June 20, 2007 at 10:41 AM | Permalink

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Comments

This is a good example to think about for both Kimbrough and Gall. Gall, because it implicates the degree of deference to be given district courts post-Booker. Kimbrough is a little different; the decision says that the district court did not examine and disfavored factors at sentencing. Why can there not be policy differences between the district courts and the U.S. Sentencing Commission about the factors that should affect sentencing?

Mark

Posted by: Mark | Jun 20, 2007 11:10:54 AM

The State of New York has just passed a bill stiffening the penalties for fatal DUIs: http://www.newsday.com/news/yahoo/ny-lidwi0620,0,3632994.story?coll=ny-newsaol-headlines

All well and good, I guess, except I can't help thinking that stiffer penalties for NON-fatal DUIs would actually do more to reduce DUI deaths, simply because non-fatal DUIs are more common and therefore more people would take notice of enhanced penalties. Also, I don't quite get the logic of giving a slap on the wrist for hitting a tree when drunk and 25 years for hitting a person when drunk. The wrongness of the act is the same.

Posted by: nyc | Jun 20, 2007 10:23:58 PM

I am doing research for a book and I would like to know what the sentencing would be for someone who pleades guilty for misdemeanor manslaughter in USA. The victim was a police officer.

Thanks

Posted by: Divan van Zyl | Jan 19, 2009 7:56:13 AM

well if your doing research for manslaughter sentencing you have a long ways to go. It depends on whether it was voluntary on involuntary, if the prosecuted has a previous record, the nature of the death etc. manslaughter in the 1st is punishable by up to 20yrs in prison, manslaughter in the 2nd is punishable up to 10yrs in prison....

Posted by: dontmatter | Mar 23, 2009 6:08:36 AM

Hi there, I'm also doing some research and was hoping someone could help out. Suppose someone were to be found guilty of involuntary (would that be the correct charge if they they accidentally killed someone hunting?) what sort of sentence would they be looking at if they had no criminal record or prior incidents? Thanks

Posted by: Willy | Jun 23, 2009 6:30:30 PM

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