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July 24, 2006

DC Circuit embraces acquitted conduct and a presumption of reasonableness

Filling in another piece of the reasonableness puzzle, the DC Circuit on Friday adopted the (widely debated) presumption of reasonableness for within-guideline sentences after Booker.  The decision in US v. Dorcely, No. 3130 (D.C. Cir. July, 21, 2006) (available here) is not especially thorough and is worrisome for many of the reasons I discuss in my recent Yale Law Journal Pocket Part article.

Even more troubling than the presumption work in Dorcely is the decision's eagerness to embrace reliance on acquitted conduct after Booker.  I continue to be amazed at the unwillingness of circuit courts to grapple fully with the implications of Blakely and Booker for consideration of acquitted conduct.  I also continue to wonder whether anyone could claim to be proud of a federal sentencing system that makes a jury acquittal essentially irrelevant at sentencing.  I also continue to wonder whether the Supreme Court might take this issue up in the near future.

July 24, 2006 at 05:17 PM | Permalink


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now I understand why parole boards can rely upon unproven allegations when making decisions against the granting pf parole. As a chaplain, I never understood the fiarness of this. As a student of this blog, I am amazed that all you lawyers who express justice, permit this to happen

Posted by: | Jul 25, 2006 8:13:47 AM

Hey Doug, If you wanna hang out with them Yalies, you gotta remember it's the Yale Law Journal, not "Review" (like it came out of some dump in Cambridge).

Posted by: Peter G | Jul 25, 2006 7:03:17 PM

Thanks, Peter. Fixed...

Posted by: Doug B. | Jul 26, 2006 6:39:45 AM

Not a lwayer, judge or anyone who would consider my opinion important..just a full time mom. OJ was aquittedd, but was found guilty in a civil trial, then hid assests. That conduct should enter the judges mind when sentencing. Her job is to determine what kinf of person this is and his likelyhood to committ another crime. The friend, he should gt less, I dont think he knew whhat he was getting into. 6 years is a long time to help a friend when you had no idea what he was going to do, with guns and kidnapping, I feel for his family. OJ, most believe he killed his wife and Ron and got away with it. He is not a good person,before he killed her, he beat her. The most horrible part of that crime was that he left her there for his small children to find thier mommy dead in a pool of blood. We will see what the juge says,

Posted by: m Ciaravono | Dec 5, 2008 8:43:06 AM

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