Here is a recent example from the District of Colorado where the judge rejected the prosecutor's request for a 15-year sentence for a person who wrote a $300 check intended for a terrorist organization. The judge also rejected the guidelines and sentenced the defendant to time-served (which was a significant amount of time). He had some interesting lines in the Order:
In over forty years of judging I have never imposed a harsher sentence because a defendant asserted his right to trial by jury or to testify at that trial. I am not about to do so now or in the future. I consider any trial “tax” or penalty to be contrary to the ages-long values and standards of our legal system. It is more closely associated with the jurisprudence of Russia, as described by Dostoyevsky, than our own tradition as described by Benjamin Cardozo. In that vein, application of the Obstruction of Justice Enhancement here would be a violation of the concepts of justice and of ordered liberty.Kudos to Judge Kane for this thoughtful order. After all, the judiciary is meant to be a check on the executive branch, who never requests a sentence under the guidelines except in cooperation cases. Section 3553 calls for the guidelines to be just one factor at sentencing. But prosecutors, all these years after Booker, still see that as the only factor.