United States v. Feaster, No. 07-CR-874 (JBW), 2009 WL 2757157 (E.D.N.Y. Aug. 26, 2009)
The district court sentenced Feaster to 120 months (10 years) imprisonment (the mandatory minimum for his narcotics offense), but was clearly not happy about it. Specifically, the district court was not happy with certain Second Circuit rulings that "any criminal history category adjustment" -- including adjustments for relatively minor offenses that overstate the seriousness of a defendant's criminal history -- "otherwise authorized may not be considered in the context of safety valve eligibility." And it wasn't shy in letting its views be known:
The inequity flowing from this rather obscure-and substantively dubious-guidelines criterion for safety valve eligibility may, as the Commission's report states, be infrequent. But it is no less real and no less unfair for the few ill-fated defendants facing what can only be considered a “pothole on the road to justice.” It also violates the fundamental statutory requirement to consider in sentencing “the need to avoid unwarranted sentence disparities among defendants with similar records who have been found guilty of similar conduct.” . . . To take away years of a young man's life based on bureaucratic rigidity under the banner of “criminal justice” is an intolerable cruelty.