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December 1, 2005

Notable 7th Circuit dissent from denial of en banc consideration

A panel of the Seventh Circuit US v. Gipson (discussed here) rejected the claim that "a sentence based upon the guidelines is unreasonable because the guidelines punish crack cocaine offenses too severely relative to offenses involving powder cocaine."  And today, as the Seventh Circuit here denied a request to consider this issue en banc, "Judge Ann Claire Williams dissented from the decision not to rehear this case en banc and was joined in the dissent by Judge Terence T. Evans."  Accessible here, the dissent has this to say:

I voted to rehear this case en banc, as I think it raises several compelling issues important to our review for "reasonableness" after United States v. Booker, 125 S. Ct. 738 (2005).  First, this case raises the issue of the relationship between our prior case law holding that the United States Sentencing Guidelines' disparity between cocaine base and powder sentences is constitutional and the new post-Booker reasonableness standard.  Second, this case would allow this court to consider the threshold for rebutting the presumption of reasonableness that attaches to sentences within the Guidelines.  Third, the court could consider whether there are any provisions in the Guidelines that are facially unreasonable in the post-Booker world.

December 1, 2005 at 03:57 PM | Permalink


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