Archive | law-of-the-case doctrine

Friday, November 2nd, 2018

Second Circuit Upholds “Barbaric,” but Somehow Substantively Reasonable, Sentence

In a remarkably fatalistic opinion, the Second Circuit rejected a substantive reasonableness challenge to a 25 year sentence for child pornography sentence charges. The sentence, the panel explained, was “barbaric without being all that unusual.” United States v. Sawyer, No. 15-2276 (2d Cir. Oct. 6, 2018) (Jacobs, Pooler, Crawford (D. Vt.)), available here.

The defendant in Sawyer was initially sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment on charges of sexual exploitation and receiving child pornography. The defendant’s PSR documented that the defendant suffered a childhood of severe physical and sexual abuse. The district judge described this childhood as “horrific” and “nightmarish,” but admonished the defendant that “I can’t excuse that darkness in your heart and soul that made you prey upon two innocent children.” Slip op. at 3-4. (The defendant was prosecuted for having, but not distributing, graphic cellphone photos of two young girls with whom he had …

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Categories: child pornography, law-of-the-case doctrine, substantive reasonableness

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Sunday, February 22nd, 2009


United States v. Carr, No. 06-5490-cr (2d Cir. February 19, 2009) (Kearse, Sack, Kaztmann, CJJ)

Carr was convicted after a jury trial of racketeering, drug and firearms offenses. At his original sentencing, since the racketeering predicate was murder, the then-mandatory guidelines prescribed a life sentence, and that is what he received, plus five years on a § 924(c) count. On Carr’s first appeal, the court affirmed his convictions and the district court’s guidelines calculations, but ordered a Crosby remand.

On remand, the court resentenced him to forty years’ imprisonment: five years on the gun count consecutive to thirty-five on the racketeering counts. On his second appeal, Carr tried to get the circuit to revisit the district court’s guideline calculations, even though they had been affirmed on his first appeal, arguing that the law-of-the-case doctrine should not apply where the district court imposed a different sentence after a Crosby remand.

The …

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Categories: law-of-the-case doctrine, Uncategorized

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