US v. Jiménez-Beltre, No. 05-1268 (en banc). The First is back with this en banc opinion. The court holds that: 1) a within guidelines sentence is reviewable (and the government’s statutory argument was hopeless based on the First’s analysis of Booker); 2) Almendarez-Torres is still good law, and 3) as Torruella points out in his concurrence, “the guidelines enjoy no presumption of reasonableness.” To that end, the court doesn’t really say that the guidelines are presumptively reasonable, but rather, they are a starting point.
The court describes the guidelines as such:
...the guidelines are still generalizations that can point to outcomes that may appear unreasonable to sentencing judges in particular cases. Some of the guidelines in particular cases were not reflections of existing practice but were deliberate deviations or turned tendencies into absolutes.
Torruella goes on to emphasize the District Court’s point that judges must articulate their reasons, but must also articulate how sentences are “‘sufficient, but not greater than necessary’ to effectuate the goals of criminal punishment, as articulated in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)”