Tuesday, August 10, 2010

11th Circuit Limits "Safety-Valve" Sentencing Relief.

Hi kids, SFL here, killing time while David O undoubtedly does something glamorous and exciting I am sure.

I'm glad I don't do any criminal, because if I did I'd have to use the term "safety-valve" as part of my work.

Instead I'm stuck with delightful words and phrases such as "Celotex," "Iqbal," "Venetian Salami" and "mending the hold."

But for those of you who derive some kind of legal meaning from a safety valve, you may consider this new 11th Circuit opinion of value, which disagrees with several other circuits on this question:
The question we must resolve today is this one: can a district court grant safety-valve relief when reducing a defendant’s sentence pursuant to section 3582(c)(2)? The answer is “no,” because the safety-valve is inapplicable to sentence-modification proceedings.
Best I can tell, the 11th reasons that a Section 3582(c)(2) proceeding is not a "sentencing or resentencing" proceeding, but is instead a "modification of a term of imprisonment."
But then later there's a footnote in which the 11th acknowledges "they are in some sense a sentencing proceeding."

So I'm glad crim law makes as much sense as civil litigation?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

To understand criminal law in the Eleventh Circuit, all you need to know is that the defendant gets screwed, then it all makes sense.

Great post SFL!