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February 23, 2006

Reasonable complaints about reasonableness review

I have been bemoaning the ugly look of reasonableness review as circuit courts affirm all within-guideline sentences and nearly all above-guidelines sentences, while many below-guideline sentences get reversed.  Today I see that I am not alone complaining about reasonableness review: (1) the comments here to my post about the Fourth Circuit's Moreland opinion rightfully question that decision's creation of a new (and unexplained) de facto mandatory minimum through reasonableness review, and (2) Steve Sady in this long post at the Ninth Circuit Blog assails the presumption of reasonableness for within-guideline sentences.

Steve Sady's post has many highlights and insights, and I hope at least some circuits will come to appreciate the many problems with a guideline-focused approach to reasonableness review.  Especially cool in Steve's post is this diagram, which purposes to chart "the spread of what [Steve] thinks we should call the Presumption of Reasonableness Virus (PRV)."

Related reasonableness posts:

February 23, 2006 at 01:53 AM | Permalink


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