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Legal Studies

Sentencing

2013

University of Georgia School of Law

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Plea Bargaining, Sentence Modifications, And The Real World, Julian A. Cook Jan 2013

Plea Bargaining, Sentence Modifications, And The Real World, Julian A. Cook

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This article examines the 2011 Supreme Court decision in United States v. Freeman. At issue was whether defendants, such as Freeman, who enter a guilty plea pursuant to a binding plea agreement, are entitled to seek a modification of their sentence when the guideline range applicable to their offense has subsequently been lowered by the United States Sentencing Commission. By a five-to-four vote, the Court found that Freeman was eligible to seek a sentence reduction. However, as the article explains, the concurring and controlling opinion of Justice Sotomayor may ultimately prove to be problematic for criminal defendants generally and for ...