CrimProf Blog

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Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Monday, December 6, 2004

Seventh Circuit Rules That Feds Acted in Bad Faith in Denying Sentence Reduction to Defendant

Seventh_circuitIn U.S. v. Wilson, issued last week, the Seventh Circuit found that federal prosecutors acted in bad faith in denying a sentence reduction to a defendant for "substantial assistance."  The court overruled the district court's finding of good faith, holding that the feds had withheld the reduction, to which Wilson was entitled, in order to coerce "Wilson to abandon his effort to redress [in a separate civil case] the extra two years he spent in prison on another case because of apparent negligence by government employees."  The decision is of importance because a finding of bad faith in the exercise of sentencing discretion by federal prosecutors is very rare indeed.  [Mark Godsey]

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