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April 25, 2007

Notable Eighth Circuit discussion of juvenile convictions and variances

Notable circuit court reasonableness rulings I have seen today include the Third Circuit's work in US v. Batista, No. 05-2949 (3d Cir. Apr. 25, 2007) (available here), affirming a within-guideline sentence, and the Fourth Circuit's work in US v. McClung, No. 05-2949 (4th Cir. Apr. 25, 2007) (available here) affirming an above-guideline sentence.  But the most significant of the bunch is likely the Eighth Circuit's work in US v. Feemster, No. 06-2059 (8th Cir. Apr. 25, 2007) (available here).

Feemster is another Eighth Circuit decision reversing a below-guideline sentence, though along the way the court discusses a number of interesting issues in a thoughtful manner.  I found especially interesting an extended discussion of Roper and the treatment of juvenile convictions less seriously than adult convictions.  Here is how that discussion concludes:

While a modest downward variance may be appropriate, because a conviction resulting from conduct while not yet eighteen is not the same as a conviction resulting from adult conduct, the extent of the variance here (eleven levels or 67%) exceeds the range of reasonable variances based on the distinction between prior convictions while a juvenile and an adult.

April 25, 2007 at 07:37 PM | Permalink


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