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January 28, 2008

Two notable sentencing rulings from the Eighth Circuit

More proof that Gall and Kimbrough do not mean defendants always win sentencing appeals comes from two published decisions today from the Eighth Circuit.  My friends cut and paste help me provide these unofficial summaries from this official circuit webpage:

US v. Pearl E. Freemont, No: 06-3175 [PUBLISHED] [Melloy, Author, with Murphy and Smith, Circuit Judges](available here):

In this case, the government's reason for not making a substantial assistance motion on defendant's gun count was within the permissible bounds of prosecutorial discretion and was based on a rational assessment of the situation; defendant produced no evidence that the government was acting in bad faith in refusing to make the motion, and the court erred in compelling the government to make the motion; district court erred by granting a conditional Booker variance on the gun count's mandatory minimum sentence; court also erred in granting a Booker variance on defendant's statutory mandatory drug counts as a reduction below the statutory maximum can only be based on assistance-related factors and cannot be based on 18 U.S.C. Sec. 3553(a) factors; reversed and remanded for resentencing.

US v. Ashanti Washington, No: 06-3584 and No: 06-3954 [PUBLISHED] [Hansen, Author, with Wollman and Riley, Circuit Judges] (available here):

Defendant Williams executed a valid waiver of his appeal rights when he pleaded guilty, and his appeal is dismissed; district court did not abuse its discretion in imposing a 72- month non-Guidelines sentence in defendant Washington's case.

January 28, 2008 at 02:56 PM | Permalink


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