Eighth Circuit - Sentencing Procedure

United States v. Isler, 983 F.3d 335 (8th Cir. 2020). An upward variance from a range of 0-6 months to a sentence 42 months in a case involving theft of trade secrets and false statements was not substantively unreasonable. The court found that the Guidelines range underrepresented the seriousness of the offense because the court could not assign a precise figure to the victim’s significant loss.

United States v. Wickman, 988 F.3d 1065 (8th Cir. 2021). The sentence in a methamphetamine trafficking case was substantively reasonable, even though the court did not join other courts in the District of Minnesota in varying downward on the grounds that the sentencing guidelines “for pure methamphetamine, as compared to those for methamphetamine mixtures, create a sentencing disparity between similarly situated defendants.” The Court of Appeals noted it would not “compel a district court to diverge from the [sentencing guidelines] in accordance with a defendant’s proffered policy reasons.”

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