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October 3, 2007

A big day for federal sentencing vibes, especially in the First Circuit

The Supreme Court's oral argument on post-Booker issues must have created some kind of distant sentencing karma because numerous circuit on Tuesday issued published sentencing opinions.  But though the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth and Eleventh Circuits all added to the sentencing corpus, the only must-read is the First Circuit's remarkable work in US v. Cirilo-Munoz, No. 05-2469 (1st Cir. Oct. 2, 2007)(available here).  Both AL&P and DotD note the craziness of Cirilo-Munoz, which is highlighted by this start to the ruling:

It is the decision of the court, by vote of the majority, that Ernesto Cirilo-Muñoz’s sentence is vacated and remanded.  One judge votes for that remand because of his view that the sentence imposed is unreasonable and that the explanation for it is inadequate.  The other judge votes for remand because of the inadequacy of the sentencing explanation.  One judge dissents from this remand decision.

The majority of the court has rejected defendant’s sentencing arguments that the sentence was unreasonable because there was insufficient evidence to convict him and, separately, that the fact of the sentence disparity between defendant and Lugo itself establishes that the sentence is unreasonable. Two judges of the court disagree as to whether there was a Guidelines error as to the minimal participant issue; the third judge finds it unnecessary to address the issue on appeal in light of the remand for resentencing.

This result is explained by the three attached opinions.

October 3, 2007 at 06:33 AM | Permalink


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