April 22, 2009

Third Circuit reverses, as greater than necessary, a 6-year below Guidelines sentence in child pornography case

Congratulations to AFPD Andrea Bergman and Research & Writing Attorney Tom Belksy for an amazing win in the Third Circuit! In United States v. Olhovsky, __ F.3d __, 2009 WL 1014482 (3d Cir. Apr. 16, 2009), a panel of the Third Circuit reversed a six-year sentence for a child porn offender as procedurally and substantively unreasonable, remanding for imposition of a LOWER sentence. The panel held that the district court erred in not granting a subpoena for Olhovsky’s treatment provider to testify, failed to consider mitigating evidence, and imposed a harsher than necessary sentence (even though the sentence was below-Guidelines). The Court was especially concerned about expressions by the sentencing court which made clear that the sentencing court was so offended "by the nature of Olhovsky's conduct that it sentenced the offense at the expense of determining an appropriate sentence for the offender ..." Olhovsky, 2009 WL 1014482 at *17.

This case is a great reminder to develop mitigating evidence early and really present your client as an individual at sentencing.

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