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October 26, 2007

A notable Miranda decision about sentencing

The Seventh Circuit issued a notable Miranda decision today, but this one is entirely about sentencing.  Specifically, here is the first paragraph of today's ruling in US v. Miranda, No. 06-4195 (7th Cir. Oct. 26, 2007) (available here):

Luis Miranda pled guilty to one count of bank robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a). Miranda has a history of severe mental illness, and at sentencing, he presented considerable evidence of diminished capacity.  Miranda also presented evidence in support of an argument that his criminal history category overstated the nature of his prior criminal history.  He argued to the district court for a below-guidelines sentence based on several factors listed in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a).  The district court did not directly address these non-frivolous arguments and sentenced Miranda to fifty months of imprisonment, a sentence greater than the government requested. Because the district court did not address Miranda’s principal, non-frivolous arguments before sentencing, we vacate and remand for resentencing.

October 26, 2007 at 12:45 PM | Permalink


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The stunning part of this case is how someone so clearly and profoundly mentally ill was allowed to plead guilty.

While it may have looked to a casual observer like an ordinary bank robbery, the man, who was turned in by his wife, was undisputedly delusional both at the time of the offense, and at the time of a prior offense involving unlawful possession of a firearm in connection with Miranda's attempt to kill himself.

Posted by: ohwilleke | Oct 28, 2007 8:00:26 PM

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