United States v. Bowles, No. 06-4319-cr (2d Cir. Jan. 16, 2008) (found here)
The court sentenced Bowles to 87 months imprisonment and lifetime supervised release notwithstanding an advisory Guidelines range of 2 to 3 years supervised release. Bowles then appealed, arguing that the term of supervised release was both procedurally and substantively unreasonable.
The Second Circuit found that the sentence was not procedurally unreasonable. Specifically. the Second Circuit found that in Gall the Supreme Court found that the district court's explanation for a non-Guidelines sentence was adequate. In therefore found that in Bowles' case "the District Court adequately justified the magnitude of the departure." Among other things: (1) the District Court "made clear that the sentence of lifetime supervised release was outside the Guidelines range and explained the departure by noting Bowles' 'strong sexual obsession with children,' problems with alcohol and drug abuse, a limited support network, a proclivity to sexual activities with childen, and a perception that children enjoyed the contact"; and (2) the District Court also "considered the sentence in light of the need for deterrence, punishment, retribution, protection of society, rehabilitation, and what would constitute the 'most appropriate fair, just, and reasonable sentence under the circumstances.'" Additionally, the Second Circuit found (for similar reasons) that the sentence was substantive reasonable.
Bowles is an indication of how the Second Circuit will view non-Guidelines sentences imposed by district courts after Gall -- a deep level of deferrence the judgment and wisdom of the district court. The only issue in Bowles, however, was the term of supervised release. I'll be interested to see how the Second Circuit deals with a case involving a wide variance from the term of imprisonment advised by the Guidelines. While there should be no difference in the legal analysis, imprisonment is fundamentally different than supervised release, and we'll have to wait and see if they are treated the same.