Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Re-Do With Same Result; Fast-Track Disparities Still not Unreasonable

United States v. Aguirre-Villa, No. 05-50978 (5th Cir. Aug. 15, 2006) (per curiam)

The court granted a petition for rehearing, and withdrew its earlier opinion in the case (blogged here) and substituted a new opinion. The holding hasn't changed; the court still holds that geographic fast-track disparities don't render a sentence unreasonable because disparity is just one of the § 3553(a) factors and Congress apparently authorized this type of geographic disparity "when it authorized early disposition programs without altering § 3553(a)(6)." The old opinion also pointed out that even if an early-disposition departure had been available to Aguirre, his 77-month sentence still would have fallen within the resulting 52- to 78-month guideline range (the range that would have applied if he'd been prosecuted in the adjacent District of New Mexico). The new opinion omits that additional justification for finding the sentence reasonable.


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