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August 10, 2007

Ninth Circuit on drug addiction as grounds for variance

Today, in United States v. Garcia, No. 05-30569 (9th Cir. Aug. 10, 2007) (available here), the Ninth Circuit clarifies that the district court after Booker is not prohibited in all circumstances from considering a defendant’s drug addition in choosing a reasonable sentence.  Here is the key passage:

We agree with our sister circuits and hold that district courts are not prohibited in all circumstances from considering a defendant’s drug addiction in choosing a reasonable sentence. We express no opinion as to whether Smith’s alleged drug addiction and diminished mental capacity would be an appropriate consideration in this case. Rather, because we are not certain that the district court would impose the same sentence if it had full knowledge of its discretionary authority to consider drug addiction during sentencing, we remand for the district court to consider this question in the first instance.

August 10, 2007 at 02:55 PM | Permalink

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