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June 16, 2006

Eighth Circuit affirms yet another above-guideline sentence (and Sixth Circuit, too)

Dog bites man, again: the Eighth Circuit today affirms yet another above-guideline sentence in US v.  Hacker, No. 05-2709 (8th Cir. June 16, 2006) (available here).  As I recall, the Eighth Circuit has said an extraordinary justification is need for any guideline variation of 50% or more.  But in Hacker, the court concludes that a sentence which amounted to a 56% increase over the maximum   guidelines range was not unreasonable or an abuse of the court's discretion.

UPDATE: I now also see that the Sixth Circuit today in US v.  Matheny, No. 05-6282 (6th Cir. June 16, 2006) (available here) affirmed as reasonable a sentence that was slighly above the applicable guideline range.

June 16, 2006 at 02:03 PM | Permalink


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How long will the courts be silent in face of the the blatant double standard by which they affirm above-guideline sentences and reverse below-guideline sentences. This hypocritical practice demeans the federal courts and the criminal justice system; it promotes disprespect for law.

Michael R. Levine

Posted by: Michael R. Levine | Jun 16, 2006 4:15:18 PM

The short answer to your questions is: "When pigs fly." The longer answer is, "When SCOTUS cleans up its mess." But they're really the same answer.

Rule of Law? What Rule of Law? We have a Law of Rules.


Posted by: Mark | Jun 19, 2006 1:00:11 PM

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