Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Eleventh Circuit Judge with a Conscience???

"Absent correction, I fear this Court’s different approach for reviewing up and down sentence variances may erode public trust in our work."

That is Judge Martin concurring in the result of US v. Early, which affirmed a 116% increase above the guideline range based upon 3553 factors.

Of course, what Judge Martin was speaking to was the Court's willingness to reverse much smaller deviations below the guideline range, which in Judge Martin's veiws seemed to have much greater record support.

"My reading of these cases tells me that in considering sentences above the Guideline range, we look only to whether the sentencing court seemed to consider the § 3553(a) factors and we ignore whether the court might have disregarded one of the factors or weighed the factors in an unreasonable way.  In contrast, for
downward variances, we show no such deference and instead scrutinize how a sentencing court applied each and every § 3553(a) factor.  We even go so far as to decide for ourselves whether the factors were weighed correctly. See Irey, 612 F.3d at 1196–1225; Pugh, 515 F.3d at 1194–1203."

Judge Martin appears to have finally recognized what we all know - that the law and rulings of the Eleventh are slanted in such a manner as to establish beyond question that the Court is unfair to criminal defendants.