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August 12, 2009

Eleventh Circuit to review en banc below-guideline sentence in "utterly gruesome" sex offense case

As detailed in this post, in late March an Eleventh Circuit panel handed down a notable opinion in US v. Irey, No. 08-10997 (11th Cir. Mar 30, 2009) (available here), which affirmed a below-guideline sentence of 210 months for a 50-year-old offender convicted of sex offenses that one judge described as involving "utterly gruesome details."  As announced in this order issued today, the full Eleventh Circuit has now decided to re-consider the reasonableness of the sentence in this case en banc.

August 12, 2009 at 11:55 PM | Permalink


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It seems, from looking at PACER and reading the order carefully, that there wasn't even a petition for rehearing - that this en banc rehearing was on the Court's own motion. Pretty remarkable, for a court that takes so few cases en banc these days.

Posted by: Sam | Aug 13, 2009 7:09:21 AM

I generally support the discretion of the district court and, as a doctrinal matter, I tend to hope that the 11th Circuit does not overstep its role here and move us a step back toward a de facto mandatory-guidelines system.

That said, I wonder how the district court came up with the sentence in this case. Did the fact that the victims were Cambodian, and not American, children have some subconscious influence? I mean, if the defendant had raped 43 kids in his neighborhood in Florida (and videotaped it, and distributed it to other lawbreakers around the world), is it possible that the judge would impose anything less than a life sentence? I'm just wondering.

Posted by: Observer | Aug 13, 2009 10:07:06 AM

Death is the only appropriate penalty for this animal. I would extradite him to Cambodia.

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