Ideally, en banc decisions by the 11th Circuit give lower courts clear guidance on dealing with muddled areas of the law. But in an en banc argument Tuesday, the appeals court judges wrestled with which way the court should point. Pushing to one side were judges who were uncomfortable second-guessing a Florida judge who sentenced to 17 1/2 years in prison a man who admitted recording his sexual abuse of children. On the other side: judges who seemed to agree with prosecutors challenging the sentence as too lenient.
11th Circuit Appears Split Over Deference in Sentencing
February 11, 2010