TITLE

EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW: POST-BOOKER, SHOULD FEDERAL JUDGES BE ABLE TO DEPART FROM THE FEDERAL SENTENCING GUIDELINES TO REMEDY DISPARITY BETWEEN CODEFENDANTS' SENTENCES?

AUTHOR(S)
Reynolds, Ryan Scott
PUB. DATE
April 2009
SOURCE
Columbia Law Review;Apr2009, Vol. 109 Issue 3, p538
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
In the 2005 case of United States v. Booker, the Supreme Court held that the Federal Sentencing Guidelines were merely advisory and therefore no longer binding on trial judges. Since then, some judges have based departures from the Guidelines on the finding that the disparity between codefendants' sentences is unwarranted. Although basing a departure on this consideration was universally impermissible before Booker, most circuits have now held that consideration of codefendant disparity is a permissible basis for departure. However, some circuits have held that this disparity is still not a justification for departure or that departures may not be based on codefendant disparity in certain types of cases. This Note argues that Booker and subsequent Supreme Court decisions permit trial judges to remedy disparity between codefendants' sentences in all cases where the judge finds that the disparity is unwarranted. It then shows how consideration of this disparity furthers Congress's goal of increased sentencing uniformity and ensures greater fairness in the sentencing of defendants who only played a minor role in a crime.
ACCESSION #
38416077

 

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