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January 6, 2006

Seventh Circuit expounds still further on reasonableness review

In a decision that, coincidentally, echoes some of the Eighth Circuit's reasonableness work today, the Seventh Circuit in US v. Vaughn, No. 05-1518 (7th Cir. Jan. 6, 2006) (available here) has an important discussion of the scope and particulars of reasonableness review.  Though covering a lot of interesting ground, Vaughn seems especially notable for its reiteration of the Seventh Circuit's view of the concepts of departure and appellate review after Booker.  Here's a key snippet (with cites omitted):

[A]s we recently remarked, the concept of a discretionary departure — over which we previously had no jurisdiction — has been rendered obsolete in the post- Booker world. Instead, what is at stake is the reasonableness of the sentence, not the correctness of the departures as measured against pre-Booker decisions that cabined the discretion of sentencing courts to depart from guidelines that were then mandatory. Post-Booker, because we must review all sentences for reasonableness in light of the factors specified in § 3553(a), we necessarily must scrutinize, as part of that review, the district court's refusal to depart from the advisory sentencing range.

January 6, 2006 at 02:31 PM | Permalink


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