This morning NPR ran this story with the lede that Scooter can pretty much give up any hope for leniency on appeal.
The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that criminal sentences within guidelines set by a federal commission are generally entitled to be upheld on appeal, a decision that limits legal options for defendants who feel that they have been punished too harshly.[…] The case that the court decided yesterday, Rita v. United States, No. 06-5754, was meant to help define “advisory.”
Victor Rita, convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice, asked for a lighter sentence based in part on his past military service. But the judge gave him 33 months, as suggested by the guidelines. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, based in Richmond, upheld the sentence, saying that penalties within the guidelines are “presumptively reasonable.”
Scooter never had much hope (yes Virginia, perjury is a crime), but even a true-blue party-line Bush nominee will have a hard time throwing him a line unless the judge likes being overturned.