Like a rock tossed in a lake, the U.S. Supreme Court’s January decision in Booker v. United States that struck down the federal sentencing guidelines had a rippling effect on the lower courts, creating waves of litigation, as criminal defendants at every stage tried to take advantage of it.

Now a clearer picture is emerging of just how far those ripples extend — which defendants will benefit and which ones will be told they have no claim — as, one by one, the federal appellate courts have weighed in on key questions about when Booker applies.

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