D.C. Circuit Court says no to long sentences for rehabilitation.

Author:Gormsen, Lia
Position:Brief article

In July, a divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that federal judges cannot use "a greater likelihood of rehabilitation" to justify a longer prison sentence for a criminal defendant, reported the BLT: The Blog of Legal Times. Like the D.C. panel, circuit courts are split on the issue: The 8th and 9th circuits have both determined that district judges can sentence a defendant to a longer prison sentence to promote rehabilitation, while the 2nd and 3rd circuits say judges cannot increase a sentence for that purpose. In the 2-1 ruling, the district agreed with the 2nd and 3rd circuits.

Judge David Tatel, writing for the majority, said the straightforward language of the statute should give clear guidance. The "defendant has shown a reasonable...

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