“Your Honor, May I Have That in Writing?” – A Proposed Response to Violations of the Federal Sentencing Written Reasons Requirement
42 U. Tol. L. Rev. 705 (2011)
48 Pages Posted: 22 May 2020
Date Written: 2011
A disturbing trend has emerged in our federal courts. District judges are ignoring the statutory mandate to state in writing specific reasons for deviating from the range recommended by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. Rather than vacating these out-of-range sentences, U.S. Courts of Appeals are affirming the sentences despite the fact that they are imposed in violation of law. This article proposes a solution to this problem.
In Part I, this article explores the historical and legal context for the written reasons requirement. Part II explores two circuit splits surrounding the written reasons requirement. Part III recommends that appellate courts adopt one of two alternative approaches in responding to violations of the written reasons requirement.
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