If it made Robert Bryan “sad and a little angry” that federal sentencing guidelines in the 1990s forced him to impose draconian prison terms on two drug defendants, one can only imagine how the Seattle federal judge feels now.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vindicated his sentiments in December when a three-judge panel granted his 2005 request to let him reconsider the two jail terms, citing Bryan’s courtroom expressions of dismay. The judge had filed his order because the 2005 U.S. Supreme Court case U.S. v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220, had made the sentencing guidelines optional.

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