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October 29, 2007

Eighth Circuit opines on intricacies of post-Booker sentencing

The Eighth Circuit in US v. Coyle, No. 06-2296 (8th Cir. Oct. 29, 2007) (available here), gets a second chance to explain how post-Booker sentencing work in a case that has a district judge and the parties all worked up.  The panel's wotk in Coyle defies easy summary, but the Circuit's opinion page provides this unofficial account of the panel's work:

The court refuses to reconsider its decision in U.S. v. Coyle, 429 F.3d 1192 (8th Cir. 2005), that a substantial- assistance reduction from 135 months to 36 months' imprisonment was unreasonable; when the court remanded this case for resentencing, the district court was not prohibited from considering factors other than substantial assistance in fashioning Coyle's sentence, and the court could rely to some degree on both 18 U.S.C. Sec. 3553(a) and (e) factors in deciding upon a sentence; however, the court erred in relying on an impermissible factor — post-sentencing rehabilitation — when it applied Sec. 3553(a), and the case must be remanded for resentencing.

October 29, 2007 at 03:27 PM | Permalink


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What in § 3553 forbids "post-sentencing rehabilitation" from being considered? Are they out of their minds? It's clearly relevant to the danger the defendant poses to society, a core 3553 concern. I do hope the Supreme Court's opinion in Kimbrough puts a stop to such nonsense.

Posted by: David in NY | Oct 29, 2007 5:23:43 PM

I would post sentencing rehabilitation should not be considered because it could only help those lucky enough to get resentenced.

Posted by: | Oct 30, 2007 9:17:23 AM

Well, those who have their cases remanded for other reasons could be hurt by post-sentencing conduct too, right? Considering post-sentencing conduct isn't a one-way street, is it?

Posted by: hurt too | Oct 30, 2007 4:00:04 PM

You would be right.

Posted by: | Oct 30, 2007 4:47:38 PM

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