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May 24, 2007

Effective HLR casenote on post-Booker crack sentencing

Another new Harvard Law Review casenote — which is available here and is entitled "Eighth Circuit Holds That District Court Cannot Reduce Sentence Based on Categorical Disagreement with 100:I Powder/Crack Cocaine Quantity Ratio: United States v. Spears, 469 F.3d 1166 (8th Cir. 2006) (en banc)" — does a great job taking apart the analysis most circuit courts have used to deny district courts discretion to lower crack sentences. The note merits a full read, but here is the heart of the pitch:

Recently, in United States v. Spears, the Eighth Circuit ruled that it was impermissible for a district judge to grant a reduced sentence to a crack offender based on categorical disagreement with the ratio.  This decision relied on questionable conclusions about Congress's intent regarding both the 100:1 ratio and the place of judicial policy choices in a post-Booker world, and its result cabins judges into a cramped and counterproductive role in the sentencing of crack offenders.

May 24, 2007 at 10:08 AM | Permalink


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