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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