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August 16, 2007

Another high-profile case becomes about federal sentencing

As detailed in this early CNN report, the "jury in the Jose Padilla terror trial has convicted the American on charges of conspiracy to support Islamic terrorism overseas."  The report states that "Padilla and two co-defendants were convicted on all counts," and How Appealing says here that sentencing is scheduled for December 5, 2007.

This means, of course, we get to play another high-profile round of guideline and Booker guessing games.  Will Padilla's guideline recommendation be life?  Will the sentencing judge follow the guidelines, whatever they provide.  Readers are welcome to play Jeane Dixon in the comments.

UPDATE:  David Oscar Markus has this terrific summary of today's Padilla proceedings and what comes next at the Southern District of Florida Blog.  Also, Orin Kerr has a lot on Padilla at The Volokh Conspiracy.

August 16, 2007 at 02:35 PM | Permalink

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The government's position will be that anything less than life is substantively unreasonable. The Court of Appeals will agree if anything less than life is imposed, vacate the sentence with instructions to impose a sentence of life.

Posted by: bruce | Aug 16, 2007 3:35:54 PM

Of course, now the government gets to make all the enemy combatant charges that it could not at trial because the evidence was tainted, since judges may consider uncharged conduct at sentencing, and anything short of a death sentence would not represent an increase from what the jury authorized with its verdict.

Indeed, the government might very well want to do so, even if the guidelines sentence were life and the judge was likely to grant it, simply in an effort to publicly vindicate the government's prior actions.

Posted by: ohwilleke | Aug 17, 2007 7:29:09 PM

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