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Pepper v. United States

Docket No.: 09-6822
Certiorari Granted: 06/28/10
Argued: December 6, 2010
Decided: 03/02/11

Topics:

ADA, Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, Federal Sentencing Guidelines, Sixth Amendment, United States Sentencing Guidelines, abuse of discretion, disparate treatment, murder, sentencing guidelines

PartyNames: Jason Pepper v. United States
Petitioner: Jason Pepper
Respondent: United States

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
Citation: 570 F.3d 958
Supreme Court Docket

Jason Pepper
v.
United States
Question Presented:

There is a conflict among the United States Courts of Appeals regarding a defendant's post-sentencing rehabilitation and whether it can support a downward sentencing variance under 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a). Whether a federal district judge can consider a defendant's post-sentencing rehabilitation as a permissible factor supporting a sentencing variance under 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) after Gall v. United States? Whether as a sentencing consideration under 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a), post-sentencing rehabilitation should be treated the same as post-offense rehabilitation. When a district court judge is removed from resentencing a defendant after remand, and a new judge is assigned, is the new judge obligated under the doctrine of the "law of the case" to follow sentencing findings issued by the original judge that had been previously affirmed on appeal?

Question:

1) Can a federal district judge consider a defendant's post-sentencing rehabilitation as a permissible factor supporting a sentencing variance? 2) As a sentencing consideration, should post-sentencing rehabilitation be treated the same as post-offense rehabilitation 3) When a federal district judge is removed from resentencing a defendant after remand and a new judge is assigned, is the new judge obligated to follow sentencing findings issued by the original judge?

Note:

JUSTICE KAGAN TOOK NO PART

Pepper v. United States
ORAL ARGUMENT

12/06/10

Listen to Oral Argument in Pepper v. United States
Holding: vacated in part, affirmed in part and remanded
Vote: 6-2
Recused: J.,
Opinion By:
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