United States v. Ramos-Soto, No. 08-2381-cr, 2009 WL 4255754 (2d Cir. Dec. 1, 2009)
Ramos-Soto is a case that simply highlights the question of whether fast-track disparity is a legitimate basis for a non-Guidelines sentence. In it, the defendant contended that the district court committed procedural error by denying his motion for a non-Guidelines sentence bsed on the potential sentencing disparity arising from the absence of a fast-track program in the Eastern District of New York. The precise contours of his argument before the district court, however, were unclear from the record.
Accordingly, the Second Circuit remanded for clarification. In doing so, however, it noted that: (1) a decision by the district court tht it "was not required to to issue a non-Guidelines sentence . . . based on defendant's disparity argument" would "not necessarily be inconsistent with our previous holdings"; and (2) a decision by the district court that "it lacked authority to issue a non-Guidelines sentence . . . remains the subject of an open question in this Circuit."