128 S.Ct. 2198 (2008)
The issue was whether Fed. R. Crim. P. 32(h) applied to every sentence that was a variance from the recommended U.S. Sentencing Guidelines Manual range even though not considered a departure as that term was used when the Rule was promulgated.
- The Booker rule, which rendered the guidelines advisory, eliminated the concern that due process mandated notice of a contemplated non-guidelines sentence if the court were to read the rule to dispense with that notice.
- The notice requirement set out in case law only applied to departures that were authorized by18 U.S.C.S. § 3553(b) and were based on a ground not identified in either the presentence report or in a prehearing submission.
- In other words, there was no longer a limit comparable to the one at issue in case law on the variances from the guidelines range that a district court may have found justified under the 18 U.S.C.S. § 3553(a) sentencing factors.
- The fact that Fed. R. Crim. P. 32(h) remained in effect did not justify extending its protections to variances.
- District judges and counsel were able to ensure that all relevant matters related to a sentencing decision were considered before a final sentencing determination.
The lower court's judgment was affirmed. 5-4 decision; 2 opinions, 1 concurrence; 1 dissent.
Suggested law school study materials
Shop Amazon for the best prices on Law School Course Materials.