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June 6, 2006

Lots of Eighth Circuit sentencing action

The Eighth Circuit today, as revealed on its official opinion page, got a lot of notable sentencing work out, with three notable published sentencing rulings, and two unpublished dispositions.  For those closely tracking post-Booker reasonableness review (like me), these two rulings seem the most significant:

US v. Dean Little Hawk, No. 04-3666 (8th Cir. June 6, 2006) (available here):

[PUBLISHED] [Gruender, Author, with Murphy and Melloy, Circuit Judges] Criminal case -Sentencing. District court did not err in denying defendant credit for acceptance of responsibility under Guidelines Sec. 3E1.1 as defendant did not accept full responsibility for all of his conduct; sentence in excess of the Guidelines range was not unreasonable in light of the heinous nature of defendant's conduct; the record demonstrated the court followed the applicable law in setting sentence and was not improperly influenced by emotion; failure to include statement of reasons as part of the judgment and commitment order did not require reversal as the sentence was reasonable.

US v. Gregory Krutsinger, Nos. 05-2713 & 05-2781 (8th Cir. June 6, 2006) (available here):

[PUBLISHED] [Melloy, Author, with Riley and Heaney, Circuit Judges] Criminal case - Sentencing. District court did not err in weighing the impact of the Sec. 3553(a)(6) factor - the need to avoid unwarranted sentencing disparities among defendants with similar records who committed similar offenses - in setting sentences.

Krutsinger seems especially noteworthy because the Eighth Circuit ends up affirming two sentences that are quite substantially below the applicable guideline ranges based essentially on concerns about co-defendant disparity.

June 6, 2006 at 01:42 PM | Permalink


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