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March 11, 2008

Reversing a hot Pepper in the Eighth Circuit

The Eighth Circuit today handed down an opinion in US v. Pepper, No. 06-2453 (8th Cir. Mar. 11, 2008) (available here), which highlights the enduring struggle of post-Booker appellate review of sentencing.  Here is how the case starts:

In United States v. Pepper, 412 F.3d 995, 999 (8th Cir. 2005) (Pepper I), we held the district court erred by granting a 75% downward departure for Jason Pepper’s (Pepper) substantial assistance and imposing a sentence of 24 months imprisonment, because the district court erroneously based the extent of the departure on matters unrelated to Pepper’s assistance.  On remand, the district court granted a 40% downward departure (five offense levels) for substantial assistance, followed by a 59% downward variance (eight offense levels), and again imposed a sentence of 24 months imprisonment.  The government appealed.  We reversed and remanded the case for resentencing by a different judge, pursuant to our authority under 28 U.S.C. § 2106United States v. Pepper, 486 F.3d 408, 413 (8th Cir. 2007) (Pepper II). Pepper appealed.  The Supreme Court vacated our judgment and remanded the case to us for further consideration in light of Gall v. United States, 522 U.S. ___ (2007).  Having carefully considered Gall’s impact on Pepper’s case, we again reverse the sentence of the district court and remand for resentencing by a different judge.

March 11, 2008 at 02:53 PM | Permalink


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I correctly guessed that this involved a case from the Northern District of Iowa.

Posted by: | Mar 11, 2008 7:25:57 PM

just FYI pepper is in fpc florence Co right now

Posted by: hannah | Feb 1, 2010 10:35:12 AM

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