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May 27, 2008

Fourth Circuit affirms (way) above-guideline sentence in identity fraud case

The Fourth Circuit today affirms a sentence in US v. Evans, No. 06-4789 (4th Cir. May 27, 2008) (available here) that is waaaaay above the applicable guideline range.  Here is how the opinion starts:

Charged with possessing and uttering a forged security, committing identity fraud, and possessing stolen mail, Ulysses Ray Evans pled guilty to identity fraud pursuant to a plea agreement in which he reserved his right to appeal a sentence in excess of the advisory Guidelines range. The district court sentenced him to 125 months’ imprisonment, a more than 300 percent deviation from the Guidelines range of twenty-four to thirty months. Evans appeals, maintaining that his sentence is unreasonable.  We placed the case in abeyance awaiting the Supreme Court decision in Gall v. United States, 128 S. Ct. 586 (2007).  That opinion now has issued, and we affirm.

Both the majority opinion and a concurrence in Evans have lots and lots of interesting talk about reasonableness review after Booker and Gall.

May 27, 2008 at 04:45 PM | Permalink


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On the good side, CNN picks up on a tax-based approach to re-entry issues


Posted by: S.cotus | May 27, 2008 4:47:29 PM

Why wasn't there an as-applied Sixth Amendment challenge? This case seems like the perfect candidate.

Posted by: 6:28 | May 27, 2008 6:42:16 PM

The double standards that circuit courts have just causes more disrespect and mistrust towards teh system. They affirm insane above guide line sentences, but they reverse below guide line sentences. I know that some circuit courts are starting to abide by Gall, but many are still resisting the change.

Posted by: EJ | May 28, 2008 12:38:44 AM

This case seems like a perfect candidate for expansion of the death penalty.

Posted by: anonymous | May 28, 2008 9:45:07 AM

"pled" guilty? Come on. It's pleaded (do a WL search of Supreme Court opinions).

Posted by: Reader | May 28, 2008 10:37:10 AM


Better yet, look up "pled" in a good dictionary. It's right there. What's your problem with "pled"? It's shorter and less awkward than "pleaded." Maybe the SCOTUS does choose one word choice -- "pleaded." As with many choices that they make, we have no obligation to respect their opinion. Word choices, as with a legal interpretation, are just opinions. They are neither right nor wrong.

Posted by: Mark | May 28, 2008 12:01:59 PM

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