Giving Judge Tjoflat’s Deference Analysis Its Due

BY JONATHAN D. COLAN, 69 U. Miami L. Rev. 973 (2015).

Introduction: In United States v. Williams, Judge Gerald Bard Tjoflat sought to clarify the meaning of 18 U.S.C. § 3742(e)’s “due deference” standard and to fix, what he considered to be, the Eleventh Circuit’s inconsistent application of this provision in federal criminal sentencing appeals. Judge Tjoflat’s mission failed. A review of the Eleventh Circuit’s decisions applying § 3742(e), in the decade since Judge Tjoflat offered his analysis of the provision, shows that his approach to the statute’s “due deference” standard has not been embraced by the circuit. Few subsequent cases have acknowledged his Williams analysis, and even fewer have applied it. Judge Tjoflat considered the Eleventh Circuit’s application of § 3742(e) to be “muddled,” and more than ten years after his opinion, it is difficult to see any more clarity around § 3742(e). And yet, regardless of whether Judge Tjoflat’s analysis has been embraced as a model for Eleventh Circuit criminal sentencing review, his analysis of why different levels of deference are due to district court decisions is worth the attention of those seeking to better understand and practice appellate law. . . . Full Article.

Recommended Citation: Jonathan D. Colan, Giving Judge Tjoflat’s Deference Analysis Its Due, 69 U. Miami L. Rev. 973 (2015).

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