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December 22, 2010

Eleventh Circuit panel sticks to tough plain error rule for sentencing appeals

In a ruling that may well drive some sentencing advocates a little crazy, the Eleventh Circuit in US v. Rodriguez, No. 08-16696 (11th Cir. Dec. 22, 2010) (available here), has refused to relax its plain error review rules for sentencing claims in certain settings. Here is how the opinion starts:

This case poses the question of whether there is a vindictive judge or cowardly counsel exception to the contemporaneous objection rule. Unless there is such an exception, the only issue that the appellant is pressing on appeal is barred for failure to object because she cannot meet the requirements of the plain error rule. Disagreeing with the Second Circuit, we hold that the possibility a judge may be unhappy with an objection does not excuse the failure to make it.

December 22, 2010 at 04:58 PM | Permalink


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