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July 10, 2007

Two Rita sightings (citings?) in the Eighth Circuit

I am still waiting for some circuit to issue a major Rita ruling (and perhaps I may have to wait forever).  While waiting, the Eighth Circuit today at least cites Rita in two notable sentencing opinions:

In US v. Jones, No. 06-3489 (8th Cir. July 10, 2007) (available here), the panel affirms a within-guideline crack sentence and cites Rita to support the sufficiency of the district court's limited sentencing comments.

In US v. Icaza, No. 06-2882 (8th Cir. July 10, 2007) (avaiable here), the panel reverses three within-guideline sentences because of a miscalculation of the number of victims involved when the defendants "shoplifted from approximately 407 Walgreens stores."  Interestingly, as interpretted in Icaza, the federal sentencing guidelines treat shoplifting hundreds of times from different outlets of one store as less serious than shoplifting once from a dozen different stores. 

July 10, 2007 at 03:53 PM | Permalink


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(Law Clerk) - The Icaza interpretation of the sentencing guidelines might make some sense if we consider employee shoplifting. From my intuitive perspective, an employee who shoplifts hundreds of times from his employer is certainly a criminal, but is somehow less dangerous than a stranger who routinely shoplifts from different stores all over town.

The interpretation could also reflect the fact that repeated thefts from a single store (or chain or stores) might be easier to track than isolated thefts from a range of stores, due to the likelihood of an identifiable pattern or similarities between incidents along with a centralized database of shoplifting reports. This could imply that the multiple-store offender is more likely to have uncharged criminal behavior.

Posted by: JWB | Jul 11, 2007 3:50:09 PM

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