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Monday, June 02, 2008

Chutzpah. In United States v. Habbas, we have two gentlemen who conspire to frame a man for a crime that could put him behind bars for life. They were caught and entered into plea agreements. One of these "gentlemen" argued that the government had breached the plea agreement by arguimg for a higher sentence than the non-binding estimate it made in the plea agreement. The agreement specifically stated that it was non-binding and stated that the government might seek a higher sentence (which it did). The Second Circuit affirmed the sentence, noting, among other things. that the defendant had suffered no prejudice from the dovernment's action, stating that "[t]he [district] court understandably found that the heinous cynicism and cruelty of defendant's crime called for a sentence of nothing less than eight years, whihc was far in excess of the range resulting from the four-level addition." The Court would have done what it did regardless of the government's position. The crime was seen as so despicable that it warranted the severe sentence.

The decision in this case can be found here.

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