It has been more than five years since the Supreme Court, in United States v. Booker, held that the Federal Sentencing Guidelines are merely advisory. Judges have been gradually taking that to heart.
In the recent sentencing of one of my clients in Baltimore, a Federal Judge ruled that, despite the clear language of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, she would not sentence my client as a career offender. The Judge held that such a designation, even though mandated by the Guidelines, was unfair and nonsensical — and therefore she would not apply it.
It was a courageous decision by the judge. For the client, charged with Hobbs Act Robbery, it meant that, instead of a sentence exceeding 10 years, she received a sentence of only 27 months.