Thursday, March 9, 2017

During Sentencing, Judges Need Not Reply to Every Argument by Defendant

Not unreasonable in sentencing proceedings for a judge to not address every argument the defendant proffers as long as the judge follows the sentencing guidelines

United States v. Wireman, 2017 BL 60890, 10th Cir., No. 15-3291, 2/28/17.

The Tenth Circuit held that judges do not need to address every argument that a defendant proffers during the sentencing stages of the criminal proceedings as long as a judge follows the sentencing guidelines. In the case, the sentencing judge “alluded to the memorandum” offered by the defendant, but did not speak at length about it. While the defendant offered mitigating factors during the process, it was not procedurally unreasonable for the district court to ignore some of his arguments. After reviewing the district court’s reasoning for the defendant’s sentence, the Tenth Circuit found that the court acted reasonably and had no need to address the arguments of the defendant. The circuit court, however, did encourage judges to go beyond the bare minimum during sentencing and to address and refute any and all arguments a defendant might pose.

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