Tuesday, December 12, 2006

3d Cir emphasized adherence to Gunter in finding sentence reasonable

The Third Circuit in United States v. Charles, No. 05-5326, emphasized reliance on the three-step sentencing procedure articulated in United States v. Gunter, No. 05-2592. In rejecting appellant's arguments that his sentence was unreasonable, the Court held that the district court complied with steps one and three by determining the applicable guideline range and discussing the parties' arguments regarding his background and personal circumstances. Analogizing to United States v. King, No. 05-1728, the Court determined that the record supported a maximum guideline sentence of 46 months. The Court rejected Charles's parsimony argument that the district court was required to note why a low-end guideline sentence was insufficient to meet section 3553(a)(2)'s penological goals, and his argument regarding unwarranted disparities, stating that any alleged disparities here were non-statutory and resulted from the district court's reasonable exercise of discretion after considering the requisite three steps for calculating sentences.

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