United States v. Marino, No. 08-0615-cr (2d Cir. Feb. 17, 2009) (found here)
Dan Marino worked for hedge fund swindler Samuel Israel. He pled guilty for his involvement in that massive fraud, and entered into a cooperation agreement with the Government. The Guidelines recommended a 50 year term of imprisonment. The district court sentenced him to 20 years. Marino appealed, arguing that his sentence was both procedurally and substantively unreasonable. While the Second Circuit affirmed the sentence, it issued some pretty strong language concerning the district court's sentencing decision. Here's what it had to say:
I fear that the fact that the Second Circuit came close to, but ultimately did not, reverse the sentence for substantive unreasonableness will only further weaken the opportunities for and possibility of any reversal based on substantive unreasonableness. And that begs the questions: What is substantive unreasonableness? What circumstances qualify for a finding of substantive unreasonableness?