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January 31, 2008

Where "acceptance of responsibility" outer limits meets the sentencing twilight zone

Zone A new Tenth Circuit opinion in US vs Lozano, No. 06-1424 (10th Cir. Jan. 30, 2008) (available here) makes it hard not to recall classic sci-fi television shows like "The Outer Limits" and "The Twilight Zone."  (Perhaps I should do a podcast about Lozano to honor this famous opening: "There is nothing wrong with your sentencing instincts. Do not attempt to adjust the guidelines. We are controlling calculations.") 

Here is the opening paragraph of an interesting opinion in Lozano, which is principally about the application of the guidelines' provisions on acceptance of responsibility:

Cecilia Lozano, convicted of two drug counts, but acquitted of a drug conspiracy charge, essentially argues that, due to the district court’s technical sentencing error, she was entitled to more consideration for acceptance of responsibility than she received.  Because the court’s technical error “places us in the zone of speculation and conjecture,” we remand for resentencing so that the district court may determine the sentence it thinks proper under the guidelines and the 18 U.S.C. § 3553 factors. United States v. Labastida-Segura, 396 F.3d 1140, 1143 (10th Cir. 2005).

January 31, 2008 at 10:55 AM | Permalink

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