7.30.2008

Seventh Circuit Notes Split Re Analysis to Determine If Case is "Extraordinary" for Purposes of Sentencing

Per U.S. v. Swanson, 2008 WL 2795275 (7th Cir. Jul 21, 2008):

Still, in "extraordinary cases" both an upward adjustment (for obstruction) under § 3C1.1 and a downward adjustment (for acceptance) under 3E1.1(a) may be warranted. U.S.S.G. § 3E1.1, cmt. n. 4; Davis, 442 F.3d at 1009-10. Swanson suggests that the circuits are split on how to analyze whether a case is extraordinary, and while the circuits are indeed technically "split," this circuit's law is settled and in the company of the majority of the courts of appeals. In United States v. Buckley, 192 F.3d 708, 711 (7th Cir.1999), we joined several other circuits that had rejected the Ninth Circuit's holding in United States v. Hopper, 27 F.3d 378, 383 (9th Cir.1994). Buckley described Hopper as improperly allowing an obstructive defendant to "wipe the slate clean, and earn the acceptance of responsibility discount, just by pleading guilty and thereafter refraining from obstructing justice further."

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