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USA v. Ronald Valle, 03-3293 & 03-3294,  Valle was sentenced to 163 months’ imprisonment for bank robbery and for violation of his supervised release. After the district court departs upward from the guidelines, Valle appeals his sentence. The 7th Circuit affirms the upward departure.

In upholding the departure, the 7th Circuit states that “All that is necessary now to sustain a sentence above the guideline range is an adequate statement of the judge’s reasons, consistent with section 3553(a), for thinking the sentence that he has selected is indeed appropriate for the particular defendant.” 

As such the concept of ‘departures’ has been rendered obsolete in the post-Booker world.  What is at stake is the reasonableness of the sentence, not the correctness of the ‘departures’.

Consequently, the fact that the district court did not establish a precise link between the degree of the departure and the structure of the Guidelines, as was required pre-Booker, is not a basis for disturbing the district court’s sentence.

For more about attorney Michael J. Petro, visit