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March 19, 2007

The latest greatest sentencing opinion from Judge Young

A sharp and helpful reader discovered that Judge William Young of the District of Massachusetts, whose work always captures my attention for various reasons, has today issued an interesting opinion in Richardson v. United States, No. 06-10993 (D. Mass. Mar. 19, 2007) (available here).  There is too much in Richardson to summarize, but this introduction provides a flavor of what's inside:

This is a case abounding in irony.  It requires this Court, first, to figure out how the First Circuit would handle evidence of ineffectiveness of counsel — not in proceedings at the trial level — but in prosecuting an appeal before it; and, second, to consider whether petitioner Joanne Richardson might benefit from re-sentencing before one of my colleagues.

These issues are not the ordinary grist of the district court mill.  Yet, in the strange world of federal sentencing today they must be addressed, notwithstanding the indisputable facts that Richardson's trial and sentencing were utterly free from error and she was afforded greater procedural protections than the First Circuit now considers her due.

Especially in light of today's hot blogosphere topic, readers may be bemused that nearly a dozen law review articles get cited in the Richardson opinion (which is less than 30 pages).

March 19, 2007 at 05:33 PM | Permalink

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