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July 24, 2007

Seventh Circuit reverses sentence based on the right to allocute

The Seventh Circuit today in US v. Luepke, No. 06-3285 (7th Cir. July 24, 2007) (available here), reverses a sentence because of an allocution problem. Here is how the lengthy opinion in Luepke begins:

Following a plea of guilty to a charge of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, see 21 U.S.C. §§ 841(b)(1)(B), 846, Michael Luepke was sentenced by the district court to 240 months’ imprisonment. He timely appeals his sentence. Because the district court did not afford him a meaningful opportunity to address the court prior to the imposition of sentence, we must vacate the sentence imposed and remand the case to the district court for a new sentencing proceeding.

July 24, 2007 at 04:25 PM | Permalink


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Clearly, it is a legally correct ruling based on precedent, but it is hard to imagine a deprival of a right that is more often harmless error.

Posted by: ohwilleke | Jul 25, 2007 1:07:51 PM

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