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April 26, 2006

Classic reasonableness pair from the Circuits

With the Supreme Court keeping me busy lately (basics here and here and here), I have not had much time to focus on the continuing stream of Booker and guidelines rulings from the circuit courts.  Moreover, lately there have not been many notable rulings (as there were earlier in April from the 1st, 2d, 4th, 7th and 9th).  But today I see two interesting examples of reasonableness review that seem worth a quick mention.

In both US v. Cadenas, No. 05-1450 (8th Cir. Apr. 26, 2006) (available here) and US v. Thomas, No. 05-14151 (11th Cir. Apr. 26, 2006) (available here), defendants present some viable facts and arguments in support of their claims that a within-guideline sentence was unreasonable.  And in both cases, the panel rejects these claims fairly readily by suggesting that the defendants' claims might have justified a lower sentence, but do not support a finding that the district court's decision to impose a within-guideline sentence was unreasonable.

Taking stock, a full 15+ months since Booker, there have been roughly 50,000 within-guideline sentences imposed, and only one within-guideline sentences has been found unreasonable on appeal (though, of course, probably no more than a (few?) thousand of these within-guideline sentences have been formally reviewed on appeal).

April 26, 2006 at 01:18 PM | Permalink


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I think the last word in the second paragraph of your post should be 'unreasonable' rather than 'reasonable.'

Posted by: Brian | Apr 26, 2006 1:40:59 PM

Thanks for the correction!

Posted by: Doug B. | Apr 26, 2006 2:51:04 PM

You may also be interested to know that the Fourth Circuit reversed, as unreasonable, an above guidelines sentence. U.S. v. Davenport, No. 05-4304.

Posted by: Kirsten | Apr 26, 2006 3:44:46 PM

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