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May 31, 2005

More details on Pabon Cruz resentencing

In this post this past weekend, I noted an interesting press report on SDNY Judge Gerard Lynch's resentencing decision in the notable child pornography case of US v. Pabon-Cruz.  Today I heard from one of Mr. Pabon Cruz's lawyers, who has allowed me to post this further report on Judge Lynch's work:

This was a long long litigation that Judge Lynch had been struggling with for a while because the pictures were so troubling and yet the client was so young and promising. 

The client had been in jail the equivalent of 3 years.  Judge Lynch had for a while said that if there were no mandatory minimum he would impose 5 years.  In the end, I think a very favorable psychological report by the Government's expert persuaded the judge to go down an additional year.  For Booker enthusiasts, he also said that the guidelines were a serious consideration in his decision as well, and that since the guidelines were 97-120, he thought roughly half (48 months) was appropriate given all the other 3553(a) factors.

Interestingly, Judge Lynch had asked the parties to provide him with data on other similar cases so he could address the question of unwarranted disparities, but then at sentencing said that each case was so unique that he decided the information was not helpful to him.  The biggest 3553(a) factor is this case was the client's youth and his psych evaluations which said the client was not a danger to children.

The defense and the client were disappointed. We thought three years was much more than enough punishment, but still 48 months is a big improvement over the mandatory 10 years he had been facing.

This report also indicated that Judge Lynch appeared "to be reading from the bench," and thus I am thinking that we may see a written opinion reflecting the Judge Lynch's thinking in Pabon-Cruz before long.

May 31, 2005 at 02:50 PM | Permalink


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