Sixth Circuit Reverses S.D. Ohio On Child Pornography Sentencing Variance

On January 9, 2012, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit decided the case of U.S. v. Bistline. In an opinion written by Judge Raymond Kethledge, the Court reverses a lower court (Judge James L. Graham, S.D. Ohio) for imposing a sentence of one-day in the courthouse lock-up and 10 years of supervised release for possession of child pornography
where the sentencing range under the Sentencing Guidelines was 63 to 78 months. The opinion analyzes U.S.S.G. § 2G2.2 and, more importantly, the relationship between the power of Congress and the power of the United States Sentencing Commission to set a sentence for a particular federal crime. The opinion also involves an analysis of 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a) and the
requirements that must be met before a district judge can sentence outside a guideline range. The opinion’s analysis goes far beyond the specific guideline applicable to the defendant’s situation.  To read the full opinion please see our link under Law - Case Law - Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals