Judge Tjoflat Criticizes 11th Circuit Stance on Booker
When the federal sentencing guidelines were still binding on judges, a judge would sometimes sentence apologetically, explaining that the sentence was required by law even if undeserved. Judge John E. Steele in Florida told Elizabeth Thompson that her 30 year sentence was unfair. His complaint wasn't unusual.
Steele's statement was not unlike statements made by many federal judges, both conservative and liberal, around the country who complained for years that the sentencing guidelines forced them to hand down excessively long sentences.
Thompson was fortunate that Judge Steele voiced his disapproval of the result.
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