CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Second Circuit Issues Major Sentencing Decision

On Monday, the Second Circuit issued a major decision on reasonableness review in sentencing. In United States v. Fernandez, Docket No. 05-1596-cr (2d Cir. April 3, 2006) (decision found here) The Second Circuit addressed the following questions:

1. Does the Second Circuit possess statutory authority to review a sentence within the relevant Guidelines range for reasonableness?

2. Is a sentence within the relevant Guidelines range entitled to a presumption of reasonableness?

3. Does 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(6), which obliges sentencing judges to consider unwarranted disparities in sentencing, apply to differently situated defendants?

4. Does the duty to consider the sentencing factors of 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) requires a sentencing judge to discuss on the record during the sentencing proceeding each of the factors or each argument that a defendant makes relating to those factors?

5. Can a sentencing judge take a defendant's cooperation with authorities into account under 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) even if the Government has not made a § 5K1.1 downward departure motion?

For a detailed discussion, see the Second Circuit Sentencing Blog. [Mark Godsey, thanks to Harlan Protass]

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