Monday, November 10, 2008

Defendants not required to re-raise sentencing issues at end of sentencing hearing to avert plain error review

In United States v. Sevilla, 07-1105 (3d Cir. Sept. 4, 2008), the Third Circuit clarified what defendants must do to avert plain error review of sentencing issues. The Court held that where a defendant squarely raises a sentencing issue both in his sentencing memorandum and again at the sentencing proceeding, the defendant is not required to re-raise those issues or otherwise object to the district court's explanation of its sentence in order to avert plain error review.

The Court proceeded to review the defendant's sentence for reasonableness and ultimately vacated defendant's sentence and remanded for resentencing because instead of addressing the defendant's sentencing issues, the district court merely stated that it had considered the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors and provided no further comment or analysis. The Third Circuit concluded that the record did not indicate that the district court gave meaningful consideration to the 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) factors.

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