Published on: Sunday, August 15, 2021

This case is déjà vu all over again. Ohio man pleads guilty to being a felon in possession, pursuant to a plea bargain for a guideline sentence of 51 to 63 months, from which either party was prohibited from "suggest[ing] in any way that a departure or variance" is appropriate. District Court: I'm giving you 120 months. Sixth Circuit: That's substantively unreasonable. Try again. District Court trying again: 96 months. Sixth Circuit: The gov't breached the plea agreement the second time around because it explained "it likely would have made a different recommendation" (which is some "suggestion"). The government cannot escape its duties under a plea agreement with a wink and a nod, so we're sending it back down again—to a new judge this time. "Hopefully the third time is a charm."

The case is United States v. Warren, 20-3045 (6th Cir. Aug. 9, 2021).