United States v. Baum, No. 04-CR-508 (JBW), 2007 WL 3274894 (E.D.N.Y. Oct. 30, 2007)
Baum was convicted of very serious weapons and narcotics offenses, and had a long criminal history. According to the district court, the minimum statutory sentence Baum could receive was 10 years for one offense and a consecutive term of 7 years for another offense, for a total of 17 years or 204 months. But the court sentenced him to a mere one day of incarceration.
Wow. Now, granted, Baum had already been incarcerated for 4 years. But his cooperation was truly extraordinary. He provided information concerning six murders, including those of his two brothers. He freely admitted to the facts concerning one of his offenses of conviction, even though the Government had no prior knowledge or information concerning those activities. And he was incarcerated for those 4 years in the same correctional facility as his brothers' killers, where he himself was under constant threat.
Defense attorneys likely will not often face such unique circumstances. But Baum is important to the extent it can be relied on as a basis for a quite significant departure for quite significant cooperation. In other words, defendants can have at least some hope that cooperation will result in a significantly reduced sentence, even if the Guidelines starting point is quite high.