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Rita v. United States

Docket No.: 06-5754
Certiorari Granted: 11/3/2006
Argued: February 20, 2007
Decided: June 21, 2007

Topics:

Sixth Amendment, abuse of discretion, Federal Sentencing Guidelines, immigration, patent, Sentencing Guidelines

PartyNames: Victor A. Rita v. United States
Petitioner: Victor A. Rita
Respondent: United States

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

Victor A. Rita
v.
United States
551 U.S. 338 (2007)
Consideration Limited:

LIMITED TO THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS: 1) WAS THE DISTRICT COURT'S CHOICE OF WITHIN-GUIDELINES SENTENCE REASONABLE? 2) IN MAKING THAT DETERMINATION, IS IT CONSISTENT WITH UNITED STATES V. BOOKER, 543 U.S. 220 (2005), TO ACCORD A PRESUMPTION OF REASONABLENESS TO WITHIN-GUIDELINES SENTENCES? 3) IF SO, CAN THAT PRESUMPTION JUSTIFY A SENTENCE IMPOSED WITHOUT AN EXPLICIT ANALYSIS BY THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE 18 U.S.C. ยง3553(a) FACTORS AND ANY OTHER FACTORS THAT MIGHT JUSTIFY A LESSER SENTENCE?

Question Presented:

Whether the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals appellate review for "unreasonableness" has preserved de facto mandatory Guidelines, contrary this Court's ruling in United States v. Booker, 125 S. Ct. 738 (2005), by discouraging district courts from sentencing outside of the recommended guidelines ranges?

Question:

1) Does the Supreme Court's decision in U.S. v. Booker allow courts to accord a presumption of reasonableness to sentences that fall within the Federal Sentencing Guidelines? 2) If so, may a court presume a within- Guidelines sentence reasonable without an explicit analysis of the 18 U.S.C. 3553(a) factors that might justify a lesser sentence?

Holding: affirmed
Vote: 8-1
Opinion By:
Read RITA V. UNITED STATES opinion (PDF)
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